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Technical Safety BC recommends trampoline parks receive safety oversight under the Safety Code for Amusement Rides and Devices

Vancouver, BC, July 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To improve public safety, Technical Safety BC has made a recommendation to the Government of British Columbia that trampoline parks be regulated.

The move comes after serious injuries at various trampoline parks, and a fatal incident in Richmond in 2018. Local health authorities, parents and municipal governments called for trampoline parks to be regulated due to the potential public safety risk, and a resolution was passed at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Fall 2018 asking the Province to consider regulation.

Technical Safety BC oversees the safety of amusement devices, including roller coasters, ziplines, inflatable devices such as bouncy castles, bumper cars, simulators and waterslides, but current regulation does not address trampoline parks.

The review process conducted by Technical Safety BC, which involved extensive research and consultation, determined that the present regulatory framework — while supporting safety in currently regulated amusement rides — provides only limited tools and flexibility to address new rides and experiences such as trampoline parks or ninja gyms. It also does not provide clear guidance to owners, operators and the public as to which new rides are subject to regulation or what form of oversight should be in place.

Technical Safety BC is therefore recommending that regulations be improved to manage the associated risks. It is also proposing new definitions of amusement rides and devices that would provide clarity to operators and the public as to which amusement rides and devices are regulated and which are not. For example, amusement rides and devices used exclusively for professional or sports training with oversight by training or coaching staff and appropriate safety precautions would be exempted from regulation, as would some specific extreme thrill rides.

“With our expertise in technical systems’ safety, our team works hard on behalf of all British Columbians to provide government with impartial advice on how to enhance the safety system and ensure these very unfortunate and tragic events are prevented,” explains Technical Safety BC’s President and CEO Catherine Roome. “As technologies change and new devices come onto the market, safety regulation needs to thoughtfully adapt to reduce hazards and make the public safer.”

In coming to this recommendation, Technical Safety BC consulted with members of the public, health professionals, academics, industry experts, operators, owners and patrons of trampoline parks. Of the more than 400 people we spoke to, everyone agreed that safety is of paramount importance and many also agreed Technical Safety BC is the appropriate organization to provide this oversight.

“I appreciate Technical Safety BC’s comprehensive review on how to support safety in the trampoline park industry,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We want families to feel secure knowing that a fun family activity is also safe, and that’s why government agrees with this recommendation. I welcome Technical Safety BC’s forthcoming regulatory framework that will better protect people in British Columbia.”

The review of trampoline parks is part of a broader review of the existing regulatory framework for amusement rides. Technical Safety BC will submit final recommendations to the Province on broader regulatory changes to amusement rides towards the end of 2019. Industry will continue to be closely involved in the consultation process leading up to that recommendation to ensure that the oversight model is financially sustainable.

 

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About Technical Safety BC
Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority) is an independent, self-funded organization that oversees the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research. For more information, visit www.technicalsafetybc.ca

 

 

Backgrounder

  • Trampoline parks are not currently regulated as an amusement device in BC under the Safety Standards Act. The current CSA Z267 Safety Code for Amusement Rides and Devices, which is adopted under the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation, does not address trampolines as an amusement device. The definition of an amusement ride is broad within the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation – "amusement ride" means a combination of components that carries, conveys or directs an individual over or through a fixed course or within a defined area for the purpose of amusement or entertainment, and includes a recreational railway. Specific exemptions include short water slides, coin-operated rides in malls, small carousels, play spaces and play systems that conform to standards, go-kart rides, animal driven rides, amusement rides driven by muscular power, bungee jumps and hot air balloons.
  • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is responsible for the Safety Standards Act.
  • Following a fatality in Richmond and several serious injuries at trampoline parks in 2018, the industry came under scrutiny. A hidden camera broadcast by CBC Marketplace also revealed issues around unsafe behaviour and lack of supervision.
  • With public concern about trampoline parks rising, Technical Safety BC began a review of its Amusement Devices program as a whole to determine if there were any gaps around new and emerging types of equipment, including but not limited to trampoline parks.
  • In Fall 2018, City of Richmond put forth a resolution (B165) at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) conference asking the province to "implement safety standards for trampoline parks, and that Technical Safety B.C. assume regulatory responsibility for the safe installation and operation of all trampoline parks."
  • From April 1 to 17, 2019, Technical Safety BC undertook consultation with the public and users/owners of trampoline parks – in total more than 400 people. We heard from owners, operators, patrons, and the public. Everyone was in agreement that safety is of paramount importance.  More than 85% of respondents who completed our survey supported some kind of regulation.
  • Part of Technical Safety BC’s role as an independent technical regulator is to provide government with impartial advice on how to improve and ensure safety in technical systems.  Our review of the regulatory framework around trampoline parks and amusement rides indicates that the current framework would benefit from improvement to ensure that it is: (i) adaptive, as technologies change; and (ii) clear, so owners of amusement rides and the public know what is regulated. This aligns with what we have heard from owners, operators, the public, and other agencies during our public consultation on trampoline parks.

Technical Safety BC
media@technicalsafetybc.ca