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It’as Brand New World Out There for the Ropes Course Industry: New F24 sub-committee; F24.61 on Adventure Attractions

At the October meeting in Scottsdale, the Executive Committee approved the addition of a new F24 sub-committee; F24.61 on Adventure Attractions. This sub-committee will be chaired by Phil Slaggert and will include the following activities: trampoline courts, aerial adventure courses, inflatable amusement devices and the walk on water ball activity.

If you would like to be added to this sub-committee you need to login to your account and join F24.61. I have included a screenshot below so you can see where the link is to join additional committees. If you have any trouble, please let me know.

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ASTM standard I abstained on is a guaranteed lawsuit starter

I’m hurt because you did not check the weather correctly!

So this is the new standard that I was asked to vote on recently.

Withdraw With Replacement to F2993-2013 Guide for Monitoring Weather Conditions for Safe Parasail Operation WK47376 PDF (8.0K)

(SEE VOLUME 15.7)(CONCURRENT WITH .6500)

TECHNICAL CONTACT: Matt Dvorak

daytonaparasailing@hotmail.com

(386) 547-6067

When I don’t fully understand the issues or have not seen the actual standard (yes it is a little crazy trying to read what you are voting on sometimes) I abstain. I did so on this standard also.

Besides voting against a standard requires you to articulate the reasons why you are voting no on the standard. “This is stupid,” is not a good reason according to the ASTM. Nor is “this is going to help plaintiff’s win lawsuits” a valid reason for voting no.

However, can’t you see this doing nothing but creating legal nightmares.

“You said you checked the weather, and you said to launch, but the wind changed because a front moved/truck came by/that is what the wind does, and I crashed. You owed me a duty to check the weather; that duty is in writing, and you agreed to it by becoming a member of the ASTM and agreeing to the standard (or not agreeing to the standard; you are still held to the standard), and my injuries are a result of you not following the standard.”

Duh

Somewhere, the ASTM, there is an idea that the creation of standards stops lawsuits, but even the ASTM can’t show any proof of that.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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ANSI, ASTM, PRCA, ACCT & NSAA a mess of acronyms that are fighting each other, taking your industry down and wasting money.

 How much money could have been put into promoting the industry,educating the members and creating great opportunities? Millions I bet.

 The PRCA, (Professional Ropes Course Association) recently announced that they had received approval from ANSI (American National Standards Institute) for its ropes or challenge course standards. The ACCT (Association for Challenge Course Technology) has appealed the issuance of the approval. (See ANSI/PRCA American National Standard).Wasting more time and money, in my opinion.

 In the meantime, the NSAA (National Ski Area Association) received ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) approval for their standards. See ASTM Committee Approves Standard For Aerial Adventure Courses

 I have no horses in this race; I have nothing to gain and more to lose with these comments. However, someone has to put it out there again, because the amount of money being wasted is ridiculous. So here goes…..again. (For a prior commentary about this feud see Stop Feuding, I doubt, move forward anyway; I think you can.)

 

 What’s it all mean?

First the “standards” granting organizations.

 ANSI “allows” organizations that meet its requirements to become standards granting organizations. One such organization is the ASTM. However, just because ASTM is granted the “opportunity” to create standards under the ANSI banner it does not mean that ANSI standards are better, more important or more controlling than ASTM.

 ACCT was started 19 years ago to write standards. However, in my opinion, it was more of a good buddy club and the creation of the standards did not follow any known or legally acceptable way of creating them. PRCA was started in 2003 because ACCT would not let them be the “whatever name” to do something with ropes courses or something. Honestly, I’m not 100% clear on this, and I don’t really care.

NSAA is 52 years old and has been working with ANSI and ASTM for decades. The standards for operating ski lifts are ANSI standards and the standards for the rest of the ski industry such as skis, bindings, etc., are ASTM standards. NSAA has one employee who knows more about ANSI and ASTM than I would ever want to know, and consequently, they are fast efficient and done right.

I am a member of the ASTM and on the standards committee for ropes courses, but not active and have not voted for any of the NSAAASTM, standards.

Still with me or have all the acronyms done you in.

Current Status

Right now, there are two organizations that have created standards for the ropes’ course industry, PRCA and NSAAthat follow the procedures and practice’s generally accepted in court for proof of standards by an organization. NSAA has opted to write its standards through the ASTM and the PRCA through ANSI.

ACCT is left out of the mix right now, so that organization is fighting PRCA’s ANSI standards. However, what I find comical, and indicative of the reasons for much of the wasted money in the industry, the ACCT has ignored the NSAA. (PRCA also for that matter.)

Speculation here, but don’t you think that if ACCT seriously thought only its standards were acceptable they would be appealing the NSAA’s standards created under the ASTM.

This leads me to believe that the appeal of the PRCA’s ANSI standards has nothing to do with the standards, just with the PRCA. (This is the third appeal of the PRCA’s ANSI standards; the ACCT lost the first two.)

By that I mean there is more bad blood here than in a blood bank with no power for a month.

So Legally what does that Mean?

Standards are the lowest acceptable level of doing something, which is presented in court to prove someone either met the standard or did not meet the standard of care. The standard of care is the measurement against which the jury determines whether you had a duty and then breached that duty to someone.

If you own a ropes course and someone is injured on the ropes course, the plaintiff now has several different ways to prove that you were negligent (breached the standard of care). Meaning your ropes course was not built correctly, or you operated the course incorrectly.)

First, there are the ACCT standards; however, those can easily be ignored at this point because they have not been approved by either the ANSI or the ASTM. The ACCT standards are getting better, I’ve been told, but basically, they were created in a way that creates credibility issues. That does not mean that they can’t be a way to prove you are negligent.

So now the plaintiff can argue that you failed to meet the PRCA or NSAA standards. If there is a conflict between the two, then the plaintiff has found the stick to beat more money out of you and your insurance company. (And the last thing this industry needs is a way to give more money away. (See: Payouts in Outdoor Recreation.)

Legal Advice (worth what you pay for it)

If you came to me and asked for advice about this situation this is what I recommend.

1.   Today, get a copy of the PRCA and NSAA (ANSI and ASTM) standards and make sure you meet those standards. Yes, both sets. If there is a conflict between the two, justify why you have adopted one over the other in writing now, prior to a problem.

2.   Every year have someone new come see your course. They don’t have to have some designation on their wall, unless it says architect or engineer (see below!). They should have experience to look at your course and your operation and make sure you are not making mistakes. Maybe trade off. You go to their course, and they come to your course.

a.   Don’t have them give you a report, which is just proof you are negligent.

b.   Don’t tell them why you do something, unless they ask.

c.   Listen, listen to everything they suggest, ask questions and then see what you need to do.

3.   Every couple of years have an engineer, architect, or contractor came out and look at your course. These are the people who know how courses should be built and have the education and experience to make sure it was built correctly and is still holding together.

a.   Someone with 12 years in the industry may be able to tell you the testing strength of a bolt and whether the bolt and whatever it is attached to are working still. However, that knowledge is defeated with a degree from a college that says engineer or architect.

Pay attention, (If nothing else for the laughs.) and make sure you know what is going on because you as a ropes course owner or manager are the person that is going to take the beatings and suffer the most when the organizations created to support you spend your money fighting each other.

Good luck.

If nothing else I should get a plug for explaining all the acronyms in the industry!

For more articles on Ropes Courses see:

 $400,000 challenge course settlement for shattered ankle     http://rec-law.us/1lk77Q7

 Architects, Engineers and Recreation, we need the first two, to be successful in the second     http://rec-law.us/1gOSNeT

 Assumption of the risk is used to defeat a claim for injuries on a ropes course       http://rec-law.us/SDZlBt

 Based on the article yes there was going to be a lawsuit         http://rec-law.us/16JD0p3

 Plaintiff raised argument in work/team building situation that they were forced to sign release  http://rec-law.us/XiKRug

 Plaintiff uses standards of ACCT to cost defendant $4.7 million       http://rec-law.us/11UdbEn

 Sad, Arizona school insurance no longer covering ropes courses.               http://rec-law.us/1m5AhAN

 The standard of care for a ropes or challenge course changes based on who is running it and who is using it (30)                                                                                       http://rec-law.us/L2tupe

 When did journalism turn from telling a good factual story to trying to place blame for an accident?            http://rec-law.us/1cNrxMv

 What do you think? Leave a comment.

 If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

 Copyright 2014 Recreation Law (720) 334-8529

 

 

 

 

Call or Email me if you need legal services around these issues.

 Email: Rec-law@recreation-law.com

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 By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com         James H. Moss         #Authorrank

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If you throw a throwbag incorrectly (yes there is now a right way and wrong way) that can be used to sue you. It used to be the correct way was the swimmer got the rope; incorrect way swimmer missed the rope.

Yo! Raft guides, ever been sued? New ASTM standard will now make that possible!

Well meaning, hardworking volunteers have no idea how they are helping to create lawsuits but here is the perfect example.

ASTM F1730 – 96(2014)

Standard Guide for Throwing a Water Rescue Throwbag

Active Standard ASTM F1730 | Developed by Subcommittee: F32.02

Book of Standards Volume:13.02

Here is how this standard is explained.

Significance and Use

3.1 This guide establishes a recommended procedure for a throwing rescue to ensure the safety of all water rescuers who may be involved in rescue techniques at a water rescue emergency.

3.2 This water rescue technique can be utilized from land, boat, or any stable platform.

3.3 All persons who are identified as water rescuers shall meet the requirements of this guide.

3.4 This guide is intended to assist government agencies, state, local, and regional organizations; fire departments; rescue teams and others who are responsible for establishing a minimum performance for personnel who respond to water emergencies.

3.5 The procedure outlined in the document may vary with the number and type of victims, and water conditions.

1. Scope

1.1 This guide covers the recommended procedures for throwing a water rescue throwbag.

1.2 This guide is one in a series of water rescue techniques for the water rescuer.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Does this apply to raft guides? I would say yes.

Is a raft guide a “water rescuer” who may be involved in rescue techniques at a water rescue emergency.” If so you have to meet the requirements of this guide.

Do you know the name of a group of people who meet this definition? “…others who are responsible for establishing a minimum performance for personnel….” They are called a jury.

Let’s see how this is a messed up idea.

You were a high school quarterback with a good arm. You can throw a throwbag just like a football with great accuracy.

You are right-handed and standing on shore next to a rock wall. There is not room to throw the throwbag underhanded.

You are on a 12’ raft in the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River. Does the definition of 3.2, which describes a boat as stable apply to you? Since your boat is not stable should you knot use your throwbag? Are you allowed to throw any way you can, if you are not stable?

Seriously, why is someone writing these things? Can’t they see how broadly this is written and how much damage it will do?

Look, someone is in the river it doesn’t matter if you are throwing the bag backwards, blindfolded standing on one leg in a pink tutu. If you get the rope to the swimmer, that was the correct way!!!

 

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Copyright 2014 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com         James H. Moss         #Authorrank

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Snooze you lose or actually in this case you do it wrong to begin with then you won’t correct it, then you fight about it for a decade, then you lose.

ASTM committee approves standards for zip lines, rope’s courses, challenge courses,

Hochseilgarten Dankern

aerial trekking courses, and canopy tours.

Sid Roslund the National Ski Area Associations Technical Guru announced the other day that ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) F24 committee on Amusement Rides and Devices had approved new standards for Aerial Adventure Courses. An aerial adventure course is defined as zip lines, ropes courses, challenge courses, aerial trekking courses, and canopy tours.

This should effectively make the ACCT and the PRCA obsolete.

See http://rec-law.us/T7EAKf

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Bicycling Magazine, May 2012: Safe for Any Speed

There is no government involvement in cycling (or any other) helmets

April 3, 2012

Peter Flax, Editor in Chief

Bicycling

400 South 10th Street

Emmaus, PA  18098

Via Email:      Bicycling@rodale.com

A bicycling helmet.

A bicycling helmet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Re: Bicycling Magazine, May 2012: Safe for Any Speed

Dear Editor Flax:

Love your magazine; however your article Safe for Any Speed in the May 2012 edition incorrectly stated that bicycle helmets were controlled by government standards. No US government, state or federal or agency of a state or the federal government controls or has anything to do with standards for bicycle helmets.

The standards for Bicycle helmets are set by the ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Material), Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. Specifically Committee F08.53 on Headgear and Helmets (F1447-06 Standard Specification for Helmets Used in Recreational Bicycling or Roller Skating) is responsible for the standard and how the standard will be tested. For more information on this standard you can go to the ASTM and purchase the standard.

More importantly the standards are voluntary. No government, body, agency or board on a federal level requires any standard. Some state laws refer to the standards for cycling helmet laws.

Sincerely,

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Five new standards are being voted by the ASTM members for measuring tents and sleeping bags

This should allow comparison of apples to apples and other fruit.

The American Society of Testing and Materials members are voting on revised standards for the following items.

Measuring Sleeping Bag Loft
Designation: F1932–98 (Reapproved 2004)
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F1932; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.
The loft (that is, thickness) of a sleeping bag refers to the total thickness of a closed sleeping bag. It is a physical dimension/measurement used for specifications, design, and quality control. Loft, in and of itself, is not to be used to predict the thermal properties of a sleeping bag.

Illustrating the Footprint of a Backpacking or Mountaineering Tent
Designation: F1933–98 (Reapproved 2004)
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F1933; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.

Weighing a Backpacking or Mountaineering Tent
Designation: F1934–98 (Reapproved 2004)
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F1934; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.

Measuring the Headroom of a Backpacking or Mountaineering Tent
Designation: F1935–01 (Reapproved 2007)
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F1935; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.

Measuring Sleeping Bag Packing Volume
Designation: F1853–03
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F1853; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision.

If you are in the industry manufacturing sleeping bags or tents you should be a member of the ASTM and on these committees. Although they work being done is extremely professional and well done.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
 
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