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How amusement park operators should ensure rider safety

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Amusement parks can be a great place to spend a few hours, or even all day. You get to try your hand at challenging games, and if you hit the sweet spot, win a huge prize. The rides, too, are a lot of fun and range from tame to spine-tingling.

However, no matter the type of ride, ride operators are tasked with ensuring rider safety. That said, they are just one chain in an extensive process to keep riders safe. Ride inspectors, park owners and industry groups, among others, such as the guests themselves, are also involved in safety. Ride operators do tend to be the last people in that chain, if not the riders, and so ride operators play arguably the most important role. Here are some ways in which they keep riders safe:

Undergo extensive training

Ride operators should undergo extensive training and receive updates as time goes on. This instruction includes information on topics such as riding for guests who have disabilities, keeping ride areas clear of hazards, reporting issues with a ride, dealing with ride maintenance, paying attention while operating a ride, communicating with upset guests and using emergency procedures when necessary.

Much of this instruction should be hands-on, and this training should be documented.

Follow guidelines

Operators also follow guidelines, such as allowing only people over a certain height to ride. Other common policies ensure that the proper number of riders is present, inflatable rides appear stable and anchored, all plugs are in place and that all passengers are using protection that has been checked. For example, operators may be required to ensure that safety restraints have been locked or that seat belts have been fastened.

Work their way up

Managers should never thrust a new, inexperienced ride operator into running a complicated ride. Smart policy has operators starting with simple rides and working their way up to more complicated attractions.

People who have suffered injuries at an amusement park, water park, fair or carnival may be eligible for compensation. They should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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