Amusement Rides & DevicesThe amusement park industry has been in perpetual evolution since its inception; mainly resulting from its quest to adapt to new and emerging trends and technologies in pursuit of attracting and sustaining crowds.
Visitors to amusement parks since the early 1900’s have been subjected to amusement rides and devices of varying extremes. Depending on the ride or device, patrons were sometimes subjected to highly participatory experiences and physical extremes. Fast forward to present day and the amusement ride and device industry is still subjecting unsuspecting riders and device users to unnecessary risks. The events are more isolated and certain segments of the industry are responsible for a larger share of the incidents, but they are still occurring and the majority of them could be prevented through better design, education and enforcement and the sharing of information and ideas.
In lieu of standard regulations that have been adopted across the United States, amusement ride and device owners and operators are being subjected to varying approaches to industry safety based on state-by-state objectives and concerns. The existing standards are being interpreted and applied inconsistently as a result. Many of the requirements to operate an amusement ride or device change based on the number of rides, employees, and/or location of the facility or temporary event. This haphazard approach does little to assist in the unification of safety efforts industry wide and potentially inhibits the closure of any gaps realized from previous incidents or situations.
Over the last 100 years or so, the amusement ride and device industry has made major strides in the development and implementation of systems designed to address patron safety. Restraints, emergency shutdown systems, block sensors, anti-rollbacks, machine guards, warnings, fencing, and more have become common place on most amusement rides and devices. Even with all the improvements and development and implementation of ride and device safety systems, the industry continues to experience minor and major losses; some of which are highly publicized and a cause for concern. The riding public has incurred injuries and deaths such as scalping and burns on go karts, the loss of limbs on a power shot ride, the capsizing and drowning of occupants on a river ride, roller coaster derailments leading to broken bones and trauma, drowning at water parks, broken necks on inflatable’s, critically injured infants on a kiddie train, and on and on. Amusement ride and device safety has made a great deal of progress but additional measures need to be taken to close recognized gaps.
Bill and Brian Avery are available to assist in amusement ride & device operational safety matters.
ServicesAvery&Avery specialize in assessing, investigating, consulting and providing expert witness services on events and attractions incident/accident cases. Let us help you navigate your matter by providing one or more of the following services:
- Case review and merit assessment
- On-site accident investigation
- Orientation with industry standards
- Potential opposing theories and strategies
- Review of operational procedures & policies
- Equipment failure & testing
- Safety auditing of facilities & attractions
- Photo/video documentation
- Preparing expert affidavits & reports
- Expert witness testimony