Safety status of UK trampoline parks

25/09/2015

The recent meeting of the UK Sub-Committee of the International Association of Trampoline Parks ("IATP") at the IATP's 3rd annual conference has issued clarification regarding its position on the health and safety status and regime regarding trampoline parks in the UK.

Continental Sports Ltd is a member of the IATP and Continental's Managing Director sits on the International Committee of the IATP and its UK Sub-Committee.

Continental Sports Ltd agrees with the IATP's position statement on the safety monitoring and compliance regime recommended for UK trampline parks and strongly recommends all owners and operators of trampoline parks in the UK comply.

What is the IATP's position regarding the safety regime applicable to UK trampoline parks?

Section 53 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 defines "Fairground Equipment" as follows:

fairground equipment” means any fairground ride, any similar plant which is designed to be in motion for entertainment purposes with members of the public on or inside it or any plant which is designed to be used by members of the public for entertainment purposes either as a slide or for bouncing upon, and in this definition the reference to plant which is designed to be in motion with members of the public on or inside it includes a reference to swings, dodgems and other plant which is designed to be in motion wholly or partly under the control of, or to be put in motion by, a member of the public [emphasis added]

The IATP, under advisement from UK H&S professionals, agrees that the above definition means that all UK trampoline parks built or planned to be built, imported or manufactured in the UK come under the auspices of the Health and Safety Executive's ("HSE") regime for H&S compliance of fairground equipment.

What is the HSE's guidance for safe practice for fairground attractions?

To enable operators of "fairground equipment" (i.e. including trampoline parks) in the UK to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the HSE has issued guidance document HSG 175 "Fairgrounds and amusement parks: guidance on safe practice" which can be downloaded here.

What does HSG175 mean for the UK trampoline park industry?

The introduction to HSG175 notes:

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and subsequent health and safety regulations, place duties on a wide range of people (‘dutyholders’) according to what they do. These include the following:

  • Designers, suppliers, manufacturers, installers and importers have duties to ensure that the attractions are safe when first supplied and installed, to carry out any necessary research and provide information about safe use, updated in the light of experience. See Section C.
  • Organisers (who can be companies) have overall control of the fairground or amusement park, and have duties concerning safe layout and emergency procedures. See Sections A, B, D and E.
  • Controllers (who can be companies) own or otherwise have control of an attraction, and have a duty to maintain it in a safe condition. See Sections A, B, C, D and F.
  • Operators are in immediate charge of an attraction and have a duty to operate it safely. See Sections A, D and G.
  • Attendants help to operate an attraction, and have a duty to take reasonable care for their own and others’ safety, and to follow instructions. See Sections A and G.
  • Inspection bodies (IBs) (who may be companies) provide inspection and testing services. Where they are engaged by other dutyholders to perform specific tasks, it should be established that the particular type of inspection and testing service required is one that body is registered to perform. See Sections A, C and D.

How do you comply with HSG175?

The HSE guidance recommends compliance is achieved under its agreed scheme for this industry - the Amusement Devices Inspection Procedures Scheme ("ADIPS").

ADIPS involves a series of pre-use and in-service inspections, and applies to all fairground rides, amusement devices and inflatable amusement devices. The amusement industry trade associations recognise this as the scheme for the pre-use inspection, in-service annual inspection and certification of all amusement devices. It is administered by ADIPS Ltd

We recommend that all UK trampoline park operators seek advice from an ADIPS registered consultant as to how they ensure compliance with the HSG175 guidance.

How can Continental Sports Ltd help with this compliance?

Continental is a designer, supplier, manufacturer and installer under the HSG175 guidance. If Continental is supplying your trampoline park we will therefore work with you and your appointed ADIPS consultant to provide you with all necessary design risk assesments required by your consultant to enable them to provide you with your ADIPS certification.

We are currently working with an ADIPS consultant to ensure all parks we supply have equipment and a design that is fully supported with an information pack and design risk assesments to enable ADIPS certification.

I already have a trampoline park in the UK and and do not have an ADIPS certificate. What do I do?

We recommend you contact an ADIPS consultant to put in process the steps necessary to achieve compliance.

A list of ADIPS registered consultants is available on the ADIPS website or please contact us and we would be pleased to recommend an ADIPS consultant who is familiar with trampoline parks in the UK.

I have imported or plan to import a park from the USA or China - what does HSG175 mean for me?

Paragraphs 61 to 65 of HSG175 relate to an importer of an amusement device (i.e. a trampoline park). Those paragraphs clarify that you as the importer are responsible for ensuring that the pre-use inspections (design review, assessment of conformity to design and initial test) are carried out and that the designer and manufacturer has followed the information in HSG175.

It is therefore vital that you ensure the manufacturer and designer of your park, wherever they are in the world, is able to provide you with HSG175 compliant information to enable you to provide your ADIPS consultant with sufficient information to enable you to undertake a design review and provide design risk assesments to suit your ADIPS consultant's requirements.

If your overseas designer and manufacturer is unable to provide you with the necessary design risk assesments sufficient to comply with ADIPS then you as the importer assume the responsibility for undertaking and providing them.

How do I get further information?

Please contact Continental Sports - we would be pleased to help. Alternatively, please contact an ADIPS registered H&S consultant - you can find a list on the ADIPS website or we would be pleased to recommend one who we know is familiar with UK trampoline parks.

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