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While Technical Safety BC offices are temporarily closed, our phone lines are open at 1 866 566 7233. Our contact centre continues to provide services by email at contact@technicalsafetybc.ca. Safety critical assessments and incident investigations are continuing, as per our mandate. More information here.

State of Safety 2019 - Amusement Devices

Amusement devices

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Overview

Technical Safety BC oversees the installation and operation of amusement devices throughout British Columbia in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation. The types of regulated amusement devices range from waterslides and inflatable play equipment to larger rides such as roller coasters.

Key statistics

26

incidents reported to us

15

injuries reported to us

436

physical assessments (inspections) completed

Incidents

In 2019, the number of amusement device incidents reported to Technical Safety BC decreased by 12 (32%), with almost all of them being caused by operator, passenger, or operational. Operational could include a combination of passenger and operator error, for example: a passenger or operator may have been injured by the forces of the ride and we do not have an exact cause.

The one major amusement device incident involved a collision between a zipline tour operator and guest. As in this case, most zipline incidents in 2019 involved the braking system.

Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year end.

Amusement device incidents in 2019

 

Injuries

The number of injuries reported to us decreased by 53% compared to 2018. There were two injuries rated as major in 2019, both related to the major incident involving a zipline.

In this technology, injuries can be quite common and are often attributed to user behaviour rather than technical equipment failure.

Please note that we receive injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Amusement device injuries in 2019

 

Permits

In 2019, there were 74 installation permits and 594 operating permits in the amusement devices technology.

Installation permits in 2019 increased by 21% compared to 2018. These results are due to an increase in inflatable and major rides.

Despite the increase in new installation permits, operating permits issued in 2019 are comparable to 2018. An investigation into our renewal and permit issuance process is underway to identify if system errors have caused the decline in operating permits due to clients not receiving a notification. This investigation has led us to further investigate if there are a population of units operating with expired permits.

Amusement device permits in 2019

 

Inspections

Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 436 physical assessments in 2019. The 8% increase over 2018 was in part due to the addition of a full-time safety officer.

The assessments were rated as follows:

In 2019, there was a 25% increase in Pass assessments. Although the timing within the season and type of inspection can affect the Pass rate, the results were also likely influenced by the increased education and outreach efforts that occurred as part of the 2019 review of the amusement device program.

Amusement device inspections in 2019