Don't forget the stairs: access to waterslides are a hazard too
As the weather gets hotter, waterslides become popular family destinations. With over 150 active waterslides in BC located in hotels, public aquatic centres, campgrounds, and waterslide theme parks, keeping equipment safe and well-maintained is paramount to ensuring a good time is enjoyed by all.
The vast majority of waterslides include a set of stairs which allows access to the top launch point of the slide. These stairs are considered part of the waterslide, and design requirements are listed in the CSA Z267 Safety Code for Amusement Rides & Devices.
While inspecting a hotel waterslide, Technical Safety BC's safety officer discovered that the stairs leading to the top of the waterslide were in poor condition and needed immediate repair. Further inspection of the waterslide also showed steel components with signs of corrosion and wear.
“The decay of some of the steel presented a cut-catch hazard, particularly on the access stairwell where guests are expected to be in bare feet,” the safety officer indicated in the report. “This hazard could cause the structure to be unsafe for public use.”
The safety officer issued a Certificate of Inspection with six non-compliances, including one which required the owner to obtain the services of a BC Professional Engineer to perform a review of the waterslides’ structure and provide a report indicating the types of repairs needed with a timeline for completion. The stairs, which were in poor condition, were no longer allowed to be used.