Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

A worldwide standard – one step closer

A group of around 15 industry professionals from across Europe gathered recently in England as part of an ongoing quest to establish a worldwide safety standard for amusement rides and devices.

The meeting of the ISO/TC 254 committee’s working group 3 took place on April 12 and 13 at the premises of Leisure Technical Consultants in Hyde near Manchester, addressing the topic of ride operation and use. The two-day get-together followed meetings during 2011 in Moscow, London and Munich.

Allied to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the committee was formed in late 2010 following a proposal from the Russian national standardisation body GOST R and now includes representatives from nine European countries, as well as South Africa, China, Singapore and North Korea. An additional two working groups have been established to examine the biomechanical effects of amusement rides and devices and their design, manufacture and construction. Members of the committee also enjoy a close dialogue with the ASTM F24 committee in the United States.

Represented in Hyde were various national trade associations, inspection/certification bodies, plus operators including Pleasure Beach Blackpool and Merlin Entertainments. One of the main objectives of the meeting, chaired by Ken Rundle, was to review the draft ISO/TC 245 N9 document. In doing so, delegates set out to remove any ambiguities, particularly important considering many of those following the guidance once it is published may not necessarily boast English as a first language. There was, for example, some acknowledgement from the working group that the term “ride” is not suitable for all equipment due to emergence of certain new amusement devices.

Recognising that many attractions are built within Europe and so conform to existing EN1318 standards, it is hoped that ISO/TC 254’s efforts will lead to a wider set of guidelines that will apply to all rides or amusement devices, wherever they are manufactured. By definition, an ISO standard should adopt the best knowledge and practice from many different countries.

The committee hopes to finalise its work in around a year’s time, issuing a document for the use of designers, manufacturers and operators of amusement rides and devices across the world. As legislation varies from country to country, the content will be for guidance only; nevertheless it is the expected to be the most authoritative work published internationally to date.

All three working groups of the ISO/TC 254 are scheduled to meet this October during Euro Attractions Expo in Berlin. For more details please contact the committee’s secretary Anna Novikova:

Pictured below: Delegates pictured outside the LTC offices, from left to right: Will Gilbert (LTC), Eric Dudhout (AFNOT/SNELAC, France), Brian Tranter (British Standards Institution), Jimmy Williams (Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain), Vladimir Nikulin (Pax, Russia), Martin Booth (Merlin Entertainments), Vladimir Gnezdilov (Pax), Jens Dahlslund (DS/Force Technology, Denmark), Anna Novikova (Pax/ISO/TC254 secretary), Gianni Chiari (Uni-EMASH/ANCASVI, Italy), Bob Nicholls (LTC/ADIPS, UK), Ken Rundle (ISO/TC254), Alex Nicolls (Ferrari World Abu Dhabi), Alex Payne (Pleasure Beach Blackpool/BALPPA, UK), Mark Wolstenholme (LTC/ADIPS/NAFLIC, UK), Janet Nicholls (LTC).

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