The amusement ride operator/attendant has full control on most rides and must be proactive and capable of reacting quickly to situations as they arise.
The safety record of the amusement ride industry has greatly improved as a result of inspections, ride maintenance, safe operations and better ride designs, and ride operators/attendants play an important role in maintaining amusement ride safety. Most countries have occupational health and safety legislation designed to protect the health and safety of workers and the public.
Herein is a discussion of the role that amusement ride operators/attendants play in maintaining the highest possible level of safety on the rides on which they work.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should work safely, get as much training as possible in the safe operation of the equipment they are working with and stay alert to prevent safety hazards.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should not engage in any unsafe activities such as horse-play, showing off, or any unseemly behavior while on the job.
Every amusement ride operator/attendant is responsible for on-the-job safety. They are responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of other employees and that of the general public.
Here are some basic rules for a safe workplace that amusement ride operators/attendants should follow:
- Be sure that you know and obey all safety rules and procedures
- Keep your surroundings neat, clean and free of hazards
- Immediately report hazardous situations that might result in an accident
- Complete the inspection checklists prior to operating the ride
- Develop safe work habits and participate in safety training
In addition, there are a number of workplace hazards for which amusement ride operators/attendants should be on the look-out and attend to at once:
- Anything that can cause someone to trip
- Anything that can cause someone to bump their head
- Anything that can cause someone to get a splinter
- Anything that can cause someone to fall
- Anything that can cause someone to get a cut
Amusement ride operators/attendants must work in accordance with the Health and Safety legislation in affect in their area. They must also follow their employer’s policies and safety procedures.
- They should also be sure not to work when they are tired.
- Breaks should be taken away from the ride in order to enable the amusement ride operators/attendants to properly relax so that they may return to work refreshed and rested.
- It is of the utmost importance that amusement ride operators/attendants be totally familiar with the rides that they are operating. They should observe how the ride operates, and the motions involved in their operation until they understand them completely.
- Every ride has a safety zone, which is the area from which the ride is operated. This safety zone is usually designated by the manufacturer or owner of the ride, and should be clearly defined and fenced off, in such a way as to be easily identified by the riders.
- The safety zone should also be an area that is easily controlled by the amusement ride operators/attendants. The safety zone is for the personal safety of the amusement ride operators/attendants while the ride is in motion, and should never be left while the ride is in motion, or before it has come to a full stop.
- The safety of the amusement ride operators/attendants and that of their riders is equally important. Unsafe riding practices are the major cause of incidents on all types of rides.
- Rider responsibility should be encouraged, and the amusement ride operators/attendants can play an important role in this.
- Safety instructions should be clearly posted at the entrance to the ride and the amusement ride operators/attendants should strictly enforce all of them. It is especially important to reach out to the parents of young children and to enlist their help and support in promoting safe riding practices and in enforcing all safety instructions.
- Be alert to unsafe conditions that could cause trips or falls on the ride platform or steps
- Be alert to unsafe conditions that could cause injury
- Always check that seat belts or safety restraints are fastened and locked in place before the ride starts
- Be careful not to close the door or restraint on any part of the rider’s body while the riders are getting on or off of the ride
- If there is even a suspicion that a rider is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they should not be allowed
- Remind riders to follow the posted rules for the ride regarding age, height and/or weight restrictions
- Be sure to alert pregnant women and people with heart conditions to possible risks involved in using the ride
- Remind riders to keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times
- Remind riders to remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop
If there are any problems with a rider or parent because of ride restrictions or behavior, amusement ride operators/attendants should not operate the ride. They should stop the ride if in motion and only resume operation after the problem has been settled.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should always report all safety-related matters to their immediate supervisor, the insurance company and local safety authorities. They should also update the ride manufacturer and consult with them.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should never leave the ride while it is operating. Amusement ride operators/attendants should watch the ride and riders at all times while it is operating.
Remembering and following these rules while operating amusement rides will significantly increase the chances of a safe and enjoyable time for everyone, riders and operators/attendants alike, while lessening the prospect of stricter insurance terms and licensing requirements for the amusement ride hirers/operators.