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Safety Articles

Safety is the important aspect of operating any amusement or leisure facility. Regardless of how much capital is invested one accident can be very costly and is some circumstances even close your business. Each month Vondriska Leisure Consultants, LLC will provide a short article on safety. The articles may be general in nature or focus on a specific topic.

Articles: (Click on an article title to view or save it)

Family Entertainment Center General Safety - June 1st, 2024
In February 2008 a suburban Chicago man died in a go-kart crash in Indianapolis during an outing with co-workers.  He suffered a spinal fracture after he lost control of his go-kart while making a 180 degree turn.  He hit a wall and became airborne.  As he descended, his neck struck a guard rail.  He was wearing a helmet and was securely fastened in with seat restraints at the time of the crash.  According to the Indianapolis police his death was an accident.  
In December 2007, a 3 year old child died during an outing to an FEC in Washington State.  It’s a dangerous world and anyone who thinks just because they own and operate an FEC with games, inflatables, miniature golf, go-karts, etc. that they have less risk than the local theme park or water park are sadly mistaken.  A person killed riding a go-kart is just as dead as a person killed on roller coaster and it’s just as big a tragedy and loss to the families.  
Review all of your safety policies and procedures and make sure they competently and completely cover your facilities operation.  
Make sure all employees are competently trained, that the employees are trained from your FEC’s approved written training guidelines and that the training is documented.  
Regardless of the size of your operation, make sure that you have a crisis management plan in place and all employees are trained properly in the event of an emergency.  
Have a first aid kit available and check it monthly to make sure it’s always stocked, make sure your employees are trained in CPR and have an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) available.  
Review your FEC’s maintenance policies and procedures.  Regardless of your FEC’s size your facility and attractions within the facility should be inspected DAILY.  There are absolutely NO exceptions in this category.  No shortcuts should be taken.  Review the competence of your maintenance staff and if they are lacking in skills and experience, get rid of them and get someone who is qualified.  And YES you may have to pay a little more money for competent maintenance personnel, but then again do want to diminish the safety of your operation for few dollars?   
Finally make sure your FEC is clean.  Nothing says this place has questionable safety practices than a dirty family fun environment.  

Lost Control Planning - July 28th, 2023
As an amusement park, waterpark, family entertainment center, carnival, bowling center or other type leisure facility owner you are probably looking for ways to reduce costs. One way you can lower your insurance costs is by implementing a loss control plan.

Inspect Thyself - June 17th, 2023
During my tenure in the amusement industry, I’ve inspected over 1200 family entertainment centers nationwide and too many to count amusement parks, theme parks, water parks, carnivals, and many other types of amusement facilities.  My collection of interesting photos is vast, and the kinds of safety problems are interesting, although at times scary.  Some of the things I find, I should not be finding.

Planning a Successful Safety Program - April 26th, 2023

Not knowing where you are going is how some operators might feel in these tough economic times.  However, regardless of how tough the economy is, reducing, downsizing, or eliminating safety is an absolute No! No!  The following outline provides you with a quick summary of what is required to establish and maintain a successful safety program.

Written Hazard Communication Program - December 3rd, 2022
General Information
The amusement park, water park, theme park or FEC owner/operator (“Facilities”) must be committed to the prevention of incidents or happenings which result in injury and/or illness, and to comply with all applicable federal and state health and safety rules. Therefore, these Facilities should spare no effort in providing a safe and healthful work environment for all employees.  

Thunderstorms and Lightning - September 1st, 2013
According to NOAA, an average of 67 people are killed by lightning each year and about 300 are injured. 

Accident Investigation Planning - July 16th, 2013
Accidents happen.  Sooner or later an accident will happen at your Amusement Park, Water Park, Family Entertainment Center or Bowling Center.  It may be a minor trip & fall or laceration.  It may be a more serious accident that requires the visitor to be transported to the hospital.  

Inspect Thyself - March 3rd, 2013
Over the past 8 years I have performed facility inspections at over 1,000 family entertainment centers nationwide.  My collection of interesting photos is vast and the kinds of safety problems are interesting, although at times scary.  Some of the things I find, I should not be finding. 

When is Safe not Safe enough? - February 15th, 2013
When is safe not safe enough?  In 2008 a young lady was partially scalped when her long hair got caught in the drive mechanism of a go kart in southern Utah.