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Design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, inspection and structural or major modification of trampolines
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Design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, inspection and structural or major modification of trampolines

October 2016 - Bulletin

This Safety Bulletin is aimed at trampoline parks to which the public have access.

WorkSafe New Zealand (WorkSafe) is responding to an increase in the number of trampoline accidents, including some very serious injuries.

Trampoline parks can take the lead in helping staff and customers enjoy trampolines in a safe and healthy environment.

This guidance has been designed to help you understand the responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act and some of the practical steps that both park operators and equipment designers can to take to fulfil these duties.

 

Some reasonably practicable steps relevant to trampoline park safety

  • The trampoline park and the associated equipment should comply with, or exceed the requirements of:
    • Australian Trampoline Parks  Association  Code of Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Structural or Major Modification of Trampoline Parks(ATPA-COP),  or
    • ASTM F2970-15 Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts
  • Workers or other people working at the trampoline park need to be trained in how to do the work safely; or supervised until they are competent.
  • Operators of trampoline parks should have a trampoline safety system.

 

Have a trampoline safety system

WorkSafe’s expectation is that a trampoline safety system would include the following parts.

Trampoline  loading, design and  documentation

This part of the system should address the following:

  • detailed trampoline design
  • drawings and records
  • loads and strengths
  • patron weights
  • patron weight live loads
  • risk assessments.

Trampoline safety requirements

This part of the system should address the following:

  • impact attenuating material
  • netting
  • patron containment and containment systems
  • safe dismount surface.

Trampoline layout and installation

This part of the system should address the following:

  • assembly area
  • bolted connections
  • electrical safety
  • fans
  • inflatable bags as a foam pit
  • installation
  • metal structures
  • obstructions
  • patron barriers
  • suspension ropes and chains
  • trampoline beds
    • trampoline court foam pits
    • trampoline suspension system
  • welding.

Trampoline park operation

This part of the system should address the following:

  • emergency provisions and procedures including reportable injuries
  • evacuation plan
  • minimum staffing (eg staffing to manage courts, staff to patron ratio)
  • training for staff (eg behaviour control, assessment of abilities, first aid)
  • patron briefing on rules in place for the activity.

Activity controls

This part of the system should address the following, particularly when training workers:

  • admitting patrons to the trampolines in a controlled and safe manner, keeping the dismount areas free from obstruction at all times
  • assisting patrons from the trampolines in a controlled and safe manner
  • ensuring user activities do not contravene the intended use of equipment
  • how to attract the attention of the patrons
  • limiting size of patrons as detailed by the designer
  • prevention of inappropriate activities (eg purposeful double bouncing and rough play)
  • restrictions on the consumption of food, drink, gum
  • separation of larger or more boisterous users from smaller or more timid ones.

This safety bulletin gives guidance for compliance with the HSWA only. PCBU’s must ensure other legislative requirements such as the Building Act are also complied with.

 

If you are involved in the development of, or operate a trampoline park, you are a PCBU

As a PCBU who is a trampoline park operator, you must comply with your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) and should follow the guidance in this bulletin to help make your trampoline park a safe and enjoyable environment.

A PCBU is ‘a person conducting a business or undertaking’. Under the HSWA, PCBUs have a legal duty to make sure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of workers and other people in the workplace is not put at risk by the work, or the workplace.

To find out more about your health and safety duties, see Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Note: It is not possible to contract out of duties under the HSWA. Any waivers that are an attempt to contract out of a PCBU’s duties to workers or customers are not effective and will not remove the PCBU’s liability if the PCBU breaches the HSWA.

What does ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ mean?

You are expected to identify the hazards and risks that could harm the health and safety of people in your workplace. In addition to your own thinking, involve your workers and consider information they provide about the hazards and risks, as well as relevant information provided by the industry and health and safety regulators like WorkSafe and its international  counterparts.

You are not expected to guarantee health and safety but you are expected to do what is reasonably able to be done to manage and control workplace health and safety risks.

This involves taking into account:

  • how likely is it that the hazard or risk will occur
  • how seriously could someone be harmed if you don’t do anything to address it
  • what you know, or should know, about the hazard or risk, and how to eliminate or minimise the risk of anyone getting harmed
  • the availability and suitability of ways of eliminating or minimising the risk
  • lastly: how much it would cost to eliminate or minimise the risks.

 

Trampoline designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, and installers also have health and safety duties

If you are a trampoline designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, or installer you will have specific PCBU duties under HSWA. You must make sure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the trampolines you import or supply, or you design, manufacture, or install, is without risks to the health and safety of people, including workers and people who use the trampoline.

If you are a trampoline supplier you need to provide safety information to the operator on how to use the trampoline safely, along with manufacturers’ guidance.

If you are a trampoline operator and guidance from the manufacturer hasn’t been made available, you should have a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) inspect the trampoline and prepare the guidance for you.

 

If a health and safety inspector visits your trampoline park

A health and safety inspector may require you to produce information relating to your compliance with health and safety legislation and may ask to see information that shows your trampoline park meets, or exceeds, the requirements of ATPA-COP or the ASTM standard.

If you have labels on your equipment that state it complies, they may not be sufficient on their own and other written evidence may be required.

WorkSafe Inspectors have a range of tools available when working with a PCBU to ensure risks are proportionately managed. These range from a verbal direction through to formal enforcement notices, including improvement and prohibition notices.

Prosecution could be considered for more serious or repeated failures under HSWA.

If a health and safety inspector believes that an activity at your park involves a serious risk to someone’s health or safety because they’re exposed to, or about to be exposed to, a hazard, the inspector can issue a prohibition notice.

A prohibition notice means the activity cannot be carried out until an inspector is satisfied you have complied with the notice. The practical effect of this may be that you cannot operate the park in the meantime.

 

Commencement

This bulletin was issued in October 2016. Operators should immediately assess their operations against the reasonably practicable steps identified and implement any necessary changes as soon as possible.


Published: October 2016. Current until 31 December 2018 unless replaced sooner following review.

Last updated 14 October 2016