Amusement rides and devices proposed regulation changes

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Overview

With public concern about trampoline parks rising, Technical Safety BC began a review of its Amusement Devices program as a whole to address new and emerging types of equipment, including but not limited to trampoline parks.

Our review of the regulatory framework around amusement rides and devices 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 devices and the public know what is regulated and what form of safety oversight is in place. This aligns with what we have heard from owners, operators, the public, and other agencies during our public consultation on trampoline parks.

The proposal addresses four key areas:

  1. Clearer definitions of amusement rides and devices;
  2. Adoption of a new safety code (ASTM International F2783-17) for the design, maintenance, and operation of amusement rides and devices;
  3. New regulatory framework to amusement ride and device safety regulations, including the clarification of the obligation to report incidents for investigation; and
  4. Procedures to address new amusement rides and devices.

Clearer definitions of amusement rides and devices

Technical Safety BC is 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.

Proposed revised definition of an amusement ride:

“amusement ride” means equipment or a combination of equipment, incorporating a mechanical system, that carries, conveys, and directs a person over or through a fixed or restricted area for the purpose of amusement or entertainment.

Proposed new definition of an amusement device:

“amusement device” means an arrangement of technical systems that produces the desired effect of amusement or entertainment when the patron moves through it or on it primarily by their own action, or any other system that is not an amusement ride.

It is proposed that the following amusement rides and devices would be exempted from the proposed changes:

  • Professional or sports training with oversight by training or coaching staff and appropriate safety precautions (e.g., simulators used exclusively for pilot training, or gymnastics facilities with trampolines used exclusively for sports training);
  • Specific extreme thrill rides and devices (e.g., parasailing, zorb balls, and via ferrata); and
  • Low risk rides (e.g. coin-operated children’s rides, commonly found at malls or shopping centers, and children’s playgrounds that are covered by other safety codes).

Code update

Technical Safety BC is proposing that the ASTM International F2783-17 code, Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices in Canada, be adopted as the safety code for regulated amusement rides and devices, instead the CSA Z267 code which is no longer updated.

The ASTM code is more up-to-date and inclusive of current wise practices for the safety of the public. It provides guidance on design, construction, installation, operation, maintenance, and inspection of amusement rides and devices. The design of new rides or devices designed or purchased after the code is adopted would be required to comply with ASTM F2783.

To learn more, see the attached overview of the proposed regulatory changes.


Overview

With public concern about trampoline parks rising, Technical Safety BC began a review of its Amusement Devices program as a whole to address new and emerging types of equipment, including but not limited to trampoline parks.

Our review of the regulatory framework around amusement rides and devices 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 devices and the public know what is regulated and what form of safety oversight is in place. This aligns with what we have heard from owners, operators, the public, and other agencies during our public consultation on trampoline parks.

The proposal addresses four key areas:

  1. Clearer definitions of amusement rides and devices;
  2. Adoption of a new safety code (ASTM International F2783-17) for the design, maintenance, and operation of amusement rides and devices;
  3. New regulatory framework to amusement ride and device safety regulations, including the clarification of the obligation to report incidents for investigation; and
  4. Procedures to address new amusement rides and devices.

Clearer definitions of amusement rides and devices

Technical Safety BC is 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.

Proposed revised definition of an amusement ride:

“amusement ride” means equipment or a combination of equipment, incorporating a mechanical system, that carries, conveys, and directs a person over or through a fixed or restricted area for the purpose of amusement or entertainment.

Proposed new definition of an amusement device:

“amusement device” means an arrangement of technical systems that produces the desired effect of amusement or entertainment when the patron moves through it or on it primarily by their own action, or any other system that is not an amusement ride.

It is proposed that the following amusement rides and devices would be exempted from the proposed changes:

  • Professional or sports training with oversight by training or coaching staff and appropriate safety precautions (e.g., simulators used exclusively for pilot training, or gymnastics facilities with trampolines used exclusively for sports training);
  • Specific extreme thrill rides and devices (e.g., parasailing, zorb balls, and via ferrata); and
  • Low risk rides (e.g. coin-operated children’s rides, commonly found at malls or shopping centers, and children’s playgrounds that are covered by other safety codes).

Code update

Technical Safety BC is proposing that the ASTM International F2783-17 code, Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices in Canada, be adopted as the safety code for regulated amusement rides and devices, instead the CSA Z267 code which is no longer updated.

The ASTM code is more up-to-date and inclusive of current wise practices for the safety of the public. It provides guidance on design, construction, installation, operation, maintenance, and inspection of amusement rides and devices. The design of new rides or devices designed or purchased after the code is adopted would be required to comply with ASTM F2783.

To learn more, see the attached overview of the proposed regulatory changes.