BC Safety Authority

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What’s your favorite ride?

Is it the Zipper that throws you around in a topsy-turvy twirl? Or the Yoyo which spins you several feet off the ground? Or is it the traditional carousel that takes you on a dizzying gallop on a make-believe horse?

Whatever ride thrills you, the BC Safety Authority (BCSA) would like to remind everyone to observe posted safety rules to ensure an incident-free experience. In 2008, there were 18 reported incidents, with 6 due to lack of rider attention.

“Rides at amusement parks and traveling carnivals are designed and built to provide a fun and entertaining experience; however we have to remember to use them properly and safely,” said Jason Gill, provincial amusement rides safety manager for the BCSA.

Last year, a serious injury happened on a waterslide due to the rider’s inappropriate behavior even after being warned by the waterslide attendant.

“Most incidents occur because users weren’t paying attention or following the rules, which is why we are urging everyone to think of their safety when going on an amusement ride.”

The BCSA regulates the amusement rides industry in British Columbia and works with operators to ensure that the rides are installed and operated according to provincial regulations and codes.

Gill points out that, “a ride must be installed and operated by a licensed amusement ride contractor.”

Here are some safety tips from the BCSA to keep in mind when going on that ride:

1. Follow the rules: The rules of operation, and any age, height or weight restrictions, are posted at every ride. Please read and follow them – they are there for your safety.

2. Stay seated, and use your hands: Take your seat as soon as you get on the ride, fasten your seatbelt, lap bar or restraining device, and remain seated when the ride starts and until it comes to a complete stop. Your hands are for holding on to the safety bar, handholds, or lap bars during the entire ride. Keep them inside the ride at all times (That goes for your legs and feet as well).

3. If it’s loose, you’ll lose it: Do not bring any loose articles – such as purses, bags, backpacks, or jackets – with you on the ride. Chances are you’ll lose them. Leave them on the ground with a trusted friend or family member.

4. Your health comes first: Many rides can aggravate a pre-existing medical condition. So if you suffer from motion sickness, seizures, dizziness, or have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a neck or back disorder, take a pass on the ride. Do not go on a ride if you are pregnant.

5. It’s okay to be scared: Some people – whatever their age – are frightened by many or all rides. Making fun of them, or pushing them to go on a ride when they don’t want to, is a form of bullying. This is very important if you are a parent: please don’t make your child go on a ride if he or she is scared. Instead, let them enjoy the kiddies’ rides. They’ll have a lot more fun.

For safety tips that you can download and print, visit the BCSA’s website at www.safetyauthority.ca and go to Safety Information – Public Safety Tips – BCSA 10 Safety Tips.

The BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization that inspires safety excellence in British Columbia by partnering with business, industry and the general public to enhance the safety of technical systems, products, equipment and work.

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