5-Minute safety talk On Amusement Parks

by Shelley McKown Beasley
In today’s world, safety is a two-way street. Since the September 11th attacks, people are more aware of their daily environments and want to engage and be heard when it pertains to their own personal safety and the safety of their family. Amusement parks are one of many popular summer destinations for individuals and families to relax and enjoy themselves. The difference between most vacation destinations and amusement parks is their capacity to safely manage millions of guests and rides on a daily and hourly basis. According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), in 2009, approximately 280 million guests visited U.S. amusement facilities and safely enjoyed 1.7 billion rides. This industry has become a cornerstone of our world’s economy by providing jobs for approximately 500,000 year-round and seasonal employees in the United States alone, and generating billions of dollars in revenue worldwide. There are more than 400 amusement parks and traditional attractions in the United States and approximately 300 amusement parks in Europe. Internationally, the amusement park industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. Many people are not aware of the strict safety discipline the amusement park industry follows to ensure a safe environment for employees and guests. You might also wonder how an industry would be regulated when it’s based on innovation and always providing new, constantly changing experiences. Aside from creating and following their own strict safety policies and procedures, many amusement parks are heavily involved with ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery

of international voluntary consensus standards. In fact, the ASTM Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices was formed in 1978. The Committee, with current membership of approximately 500 members, currently has jurisdiction over several standards and continues to play a critically important role in all aspects important to amusement rides and devices—especially safety. For more info, visit www.astm.org/ COMMIT/COMMITTEE/F24.htm.

9 TIPS FOR AMUSEMENT PARK SAFETY

Hitting an amusement park this season? Check out these helpful hints from the IAAPA on how you can enjoy your amusement park vacation safely.

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Obey listed age, height, weight and health restrictions. Observe all posted ride safety rules. Keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times. Remain seated in the ride until it comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit. Follow all verbal instructions given by ride operators or provided by recorded announcements.

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Always use safety equipment provided and never attempt to wriggle free of or loosen restraints or other safety devices. Parents with young children should make sure that their children can understand safe and appropriate ride behavior. Never force anyone, especially children, to ride attractions they don’t want to ride. If you see any unsafe behavior or condition on a ride, report it to a supervisor or manager immediately.

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38 / the SAfetY RepoRt / SUmmeR 2012

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