ASTM International and IAAPA Representatives Discuss Amusement Ride Safety During Bolivia Conference

ASTM and IAAPA Representatives Discuss Amusement Ride Safety at La Paz SeminarSafety SeminarASTM Standards in Bolivia

On August 23,, Bolivian officials announced the acceptance of amusement ride safety standards developed by ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices. The announcement was made at a seminar on amusement ride safety in La Paz, Bolivia.

The focus of the seminar was on the tremendous growth of the amusement industry sector, as well as the importance of having comprehensive safety programs for all facets of the business.

The event was organized by Gabriela Nino de Guzman, chair of the La Paz City Council; Paulina Reyes, vice president of Latin American Operations at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions; and Alvaro del Castillo, executive director of the Bolivian Institute of Standardization and Quality (IBNORCA).

Del Castillo, Reyes and Nino de Guzman spoke at the opening of the heavily attended conference and jointly announced that the Bolivian government had approved new national standards based on the ASTM F24 safety standards through IBNORCA. Amusement industry officials and ASTM International members Franceen Gonzales and Jim Seay represented ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions at the seminar. Gonzales is vice president, risk management, Great Wolf Resorts; Seay is president, Premier Rides, and chairman of F24. The conference was covered extensively by the Bolivian press; interviews of Nino de Guzman and Gonzales were featured prominently on the national news.

"I was not only impressed by the size of the group attending the conference but also by the diverse representation within the group," said Gonzales. "There were first responders sitting next to operators who were sitting next to highly engaged politicians and regulators. It was also wonderful that members of the Peruvian Amusement Parks Association traveled to Bolivia for the conference and shared their expertise and knowledge. All of the people at the conference were passionate about guest safety and the contributions and comments they made proved that fact. I strongly believe that Bolivia is focused on having a very safe industry."

ASTM International F24 standards were used as the basis for new Bolivian standards that cover ownership, operation, maintenance, inspection and testing performance for amusement rides and devices.

The incorporation of ASTM standards by the IBNORCA, the national standards body of Bolivia, was made possible through a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations in 2002. ASTM worked closedly with IBNORCA to facilitate review of the official Spanish translations of the ASTM F24 standards. To date, the MOU has enabled IBNORCA to utilize more than 250 ASTM standards for consultation, normative reference, adoption or as the basis of national standards.

The day before the conference, Reyes, Gonzales and Seay met at IBNORCA headquarters with amusement industry stakeholders who have been responsible for developing IBNORCA standards based on ASTM F24 standards. The group included government officials, higher education representatives, operators and suppliers. Seay commented, "The stakeholders, in cooperation with IAAPA and ASTM F24, worked hard to determine which standards were the most critical and did an excellent job of formulating the IBNORCA norms." IBNORCA has announced that it will continue the stakeholder meetings to ensure that the new standards are kept current, and that they plan to appoint a representative that will join ASTM F24 to participate in the ongoing consensus process for developing new standards.

Reyes added, "Bolivia has established a great model for other countries in Latin America that want to have high-level safety standards for the amusement industry. I would strongly suggest that countries speak with the leadership of IBNORCA to gain an understanding of their process and how they were able to quickly create consistent, effective norms utilizing ASTM F24 standards."

Jim Seay, Franceen Gonzales, Gabriela Nino de Guzman, Alvaro del Castillo and Paulina Reyes discuss amusement ride safety during a conference held in La Paz, Bolivia, on Aug. 23.

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