THE SKI SLOPE SECURITY RULES ACCORDING TO FISI
How about you – do you know the 10 rules of conduct recommended by FISI?
1. RESPECT FOR OTHERS
All skiers and snowboarders should behave in such a way as to never endanger the safety of others. They are are responsible not only for their own actions on the pistes but also for their equipment – including any possible defects – even if new and of the latest technology.
2. CONTROLLING SPEED AND BEHAVIOUR
All skiers and snowboarders must adapt their speed and behaviour to their own abilities and to the terrain, snow, weather and number of users on the piste. Accidents are often the result of excessive speed, which causes a loss of control and limits visibility. Skiers and snowboarders must be capable of executing their manoeuvres without hindering others, and must be able to stop at any moment.
In overcrowded and low-visibility areas, above all at the start and end of pistes and at the bottom of ski lifts, they must move slowly and in the side areas.
3. CHOICE OF DIRECTION
Skiers or snowboarders further uphill, being in a commanding position, have the possibility to choose their route. They must therefore maintain a trajectory that avoids the danger of collision with any skier or snowboarder further downhill. Skiing and snowboarding are free-moving sports in which all participants can express themselves as desired, provided that they comply with these rules and take account of their personal abilities, physical fitness and the general conditions of the particular environment. Any skier or snowboarder in front has priority. If skiing behind and going in the same trajectory as another skier or snowboarder, he or she must maintain enough distance to enable the person in front to move freely.
4. OVERTAKING ON-PISTE
Overtaking is possible further uphill or downhill, to the right or the left, but always at a sufficient distance to allow for the manoeuvres and voluntary or involuntary movements of the skier or snowboarder being overtaken. Skiers or snowboarders who overtake are responsible for their manoeuvres, and must perform them in a way that does not cause difficulties to whoever they are overtaking. This responsibility applies throughout the manoeuvre and also when overtaking a skier or snowboarder who is stationary on the piste.
5. CROSSINGS AND JUNCTIONS
Any skier or snowboarder coming into or crossing a piste or an exercise/training area must ensure, by visually checking uphill and downhill, that this is possible without dangering him/herself or others. The skier must maintain the same behaviour after each stop. Entering or leaving the piste after stopping is often the cause of accidents. These operations need to be carried out very carefully to avoid causing accidents or harm to oneself and others. When skiers or snowboarders are moving slowly they must always pay close attention to quicker skiers behind or in front of them. “Carving” and snowboarding enable upward turns that go in the opposite direction to skiers who are coming down. Great care is essential in performing these manoeuvres to avoid injuring oneself and others.
6. STOPPING ON THE PISTE
Unless absolutely necessary, skiers and snowboarders must avoid stopping in the middle of the piste, at essential passing points or in conditions of low visibility. If they fall they must vacate the piste quickly by moving to side in the shortest possible time. Unless on a very wide piste, stops must only ever be made along one of the two sides of the piste. Never stop in places where the piste is very narrow, where there is a limited overall view of the piste, or where there is a risk of not being seen by skiers coming down.
7. CLIMBING AND DESCENDING A PISTE
Skiers or snowboarders ascending a piste must always keep to the sides of the piste. The same rule applies when descending or climbing on foot. Moving against the normal direction of descent creates unpredictable situations and obstacles that cannot be rapidly detected or assessed. Deep footprints left by people climbing on foot are very dangerous for skiers and snowboarders.
8. RESPECT FOR SIGNS ON THE PISTES
Skiers and snowboarders are required to respect all signs and instructions displayed on the pistes. The level of difficulty of a piste is shown, in descending order of difficulty, as “black”, “red”, “blue” and “green”. Skiers and snowboarders are free to choose whichever piste they prefer. Displayed on the pistes are direction indications and signs alerting to danger, the need to slow down, narrow passageways, closures or other warnings, all of which which must be scrupulously and rigorously observed. These are placed in the interests of all, to prevent accidents to skiers and snowboarders.
In the event of an accident every person is required to lend assistance. Doing so is the moral duty of every skier or snowboarder. Although it is not a legal requirement on the piste (there is an organised emergency assistance service), each person must do everything possible, according to his or her own abilities, to provide first aid, call the emergency services, mark off the area surrounding the injured person or persons and make other people coming down the piste aware of their presence. The objective of the International Federation is to criminally prosecute anyone who fails to observe this obligation – which is comparable to a failure to assist at the scene of a road accident – in countries where the legislation does not already provide for it.
Any skier or snowboarder involved in an accident on the piste, regardless of responsibility or simply as a witness, is required to provide his or her personal details. Witness accounts are of crucial importance in preparing a correct report regarding the accident. Every person must must regard this as an absolute obligation, morally and in terms of honesty. Reports submitted by the first aid and rescue service, supported by witness accounts and any photographic and video material, can be of great help in the determination of any civil and criminal liability.