Are trampoline parks safe? What you need to know
Trampoline parks are popping up across BC and are a popular site for birthday parties and other events. But did you know they are not presently regulated? In fact, no jurisdiction in Canada regulates trampoline parks at this time.
Why aren’t trampoline parks regulated?
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-cart rides, animal driven rides, amusement rides driven by muscular power, bungee jumps and hot air balloons.
Would regulation make trampoline parks safer?
While regulatory oversight can enhance the safety of amusement rides, it is impossible to know whether it could have prevented the incidents that recently occurred in BC. Generally speaking, regulation of facilities and equipment can offer mechanisms for reporting and investigating incidents, and making improvements to safety.
It is important to recognize that regulation cannot remove all risk. Safety is a shared responsibility between the owner/operator of an amusement device, the user, and regulators.
Has Technical Safety BC been considering regulating trampoline parks?
Following the trampoline park fatality in Richmond earlier this year, some health authorities and municipalities have called for regulation of these facilities. We are also aware that the City of Richmond submitted a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September asking the province to assume regulatory responsibility for trampoline parks in BC.
Technical Safety BC has been in discussion with the provincial government on this issue, and earlier this year established an advisory panel of stakeholders to look into various options. We are looking at this issue in the context of a broader analysis of safety oversight for amusement rides and will provide recommendations to the Ministry on potential options within the next six to eight months.
If trampoline parks were regulated what types of things would you be looking at?
In other areas that we regulate, our oversight includes items such as design, installation, maintenance and operation. Oversight models could also include assessments of new facilities, periodic inspections, and working with facilities to confirm that appropriate safety management plans are in place.
How can we keep our kids safe at trampoline parks?
While we cannot speak specifically to safety at trampoline parks, our findings from investigating incidents on other amusement devices suggest there are some simple things parents can do.
Many amusement ride injuries can result from patron behaviours that are prohibited in the posted safety rules. It is important that parents be aware of risks and take appropriate precautions. Following all posted instructions and supervising children at all times are important factors to enhance safety.
Questions about trampoline parks? Please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.