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Multi-National Task Force Is Developing Global Amusement Ride Standard

May the force be with you...the ASTM task force, that is, as you careen and twist on amusement rides this summer. Amusement ride standards that can be applied to equipment worldwide is the focus of the World Standards Task Force in ASTM Subcommittee F24.24 on Design and Manufacture, under Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices.

“The subcommittee has the ongoing commitment of creating an international blueprint and set of guidelines for the design and manufacture of theme park equipment,” said Jim Seay, president, Premier Rides, Millersville, Md., and chair of the ASTM subcommittee. “It’s very important for patrons to understand that ours is an industry obsessed with safety. Because of that, a tremendous amount of talent comes together at ASTM meetings to ensure the industry is as safe as possible.”

ASTM F 1159, Standard Practice for the Design and Manufacture of Amusement Rides and Devices, is being reviewed by the subcommittee for global use. It covers operations, testing, maintenance, inspection, design and manufacture of ride attractions. “We’re re-evaluating and incorporating input from literally around the world,” Seay said.

In January, the subcommittee met to discuss global applications for F 1159. “It is a monumental job,” he continued. “The effort has been ongoing for the past two years, with meetings occurring several times per year.” The well-attended meeting included representatives from the Canadian government. Manufacturing technicians familiar with requirements of CEN standards were on-hand from Europe. Two members of the Russian Amusement Industry Association provided valuable input, and committed to long-term involvement on the task force.

Some of the industry’s biggest players participated. “We had park representatives from not only the family-type organizations that own the single parks, but from amusement industry giants—the large theme park organizations,” Seay said. The meeting included members of a leading safety consulting group, various consultants, manufacturers, and government inspectors.

“With respect to F 1159, we are taking a global perspective in reviewing the existing document which we all believe is well-written and effective,” he explained. “We are using areas of the document that we believe to be superior to any others that exist worldwide, and are incorporating additional text which we believe makes the standard more valuable.”

“It is very important for people to understand there are highly qualified people doing this work,” added Seay, who has an aerospace background. “The industry, because of its growth and the new influx of high tech equipment, has become highly sophisticated.” He again stressed the task force’s emphasis on safety.

Comments are welcomed. “We continue to work on the basis that any input is valuable,” Seay concluded. “The standard will become valuable for the industry, only with continued input from as many sources as possible.”

ASTM standards are available by calling Customer Service (610/832-9585) or through the Web site (www.astm.org).

For further technical information, contact (ASTM F24 Committee chair) Richard Henry, Director of Operations, Kennywood Park, 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin, PA 15122 (412/461-0500; fax: 412/464-0719). Committee F24 meets Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in San Diego, Calif. For meeting or membership details, contact manager Bruce Noe, ASTM (610/832-9719). //

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