A climbing wall or a rope’s course are structures. The components already have ASTM standards the sole issue is whether or not they were put together properly.Posted: April 15, 2014
Operations need special reviews, but the structure is nothing that different from the building it is in or close too.
I’m always asked to recommend a person to check out a ropes course or a climbing wall. These people are looking for someone who may be self-appointed, maybe knowledgeable, (or maybe not) a person who makes a living check these.
I rarely refer them to someone with that title in the industry. I first ask them if a local contractor or engineer as ever looked at their course.
The structures have a different purpose than the carpenter or engineers are used to, but the construction should not be.
We keep forgetting that climbing walls and rope’s courses are just structures no different from a building. Each of the components has an ASTM standard. An Engineer or contractor can check to see if it was constructed properly and what needs to be done to get it up to speed.
We forget that the foundation of any building or anything attacked to the building is engineering.
By whom and how often should you have your course inspected?
Any time you feel insecure about your course or wall or your insurance company requires it.
Who should inspect your course or wall?
An engineer or contract should inspect your course at least every couple of years or as the engineer or contractor tells you. You can bring in someone with the industry credentials in the other years or with them. You can have someone come in and look at your operation anytime.
I tell my clients to find another operator and trade days. Go check out their course on one day and have them check out your course on another day. That will spot issues you may have, and you probably will learn some new ideas. No use having “inspectors” only who knows new ways of doing things.
I would suspect that if you are part of a larger organization, a college, university or camp that the company or college engineer will tell you when and how often they want the structure inspected.
A bolt is a bolt, whether it holds up a wall or a climbing wall.
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No, not to tear down the wilderness, I’m talking about what we build.
In the recreation industry, we build a lot of things that our customers use: Ropes courses, zip lines, climbing walls, raft frames, etc. I see a lot of these being built by owners or by contractors who are not the correctly licensed people for the jobs. If you have clients interacting with something, you built; you better have an engineer/architect approve the plans and the construction. You also may need to have the plans approved the structure approved by the appropriate city, county, or state licensing authority.
Additionally, you may be violating city, county or state laws if the work is not approved in advance by an architect or engineer and or built by a “licensed” person/contractor.
This is hard to write because the laws are usually local in nature, so there is no uniform way to look at the issues. In the general, I’ll use the term state to mean any government entity, city, county, municipal, tax district, state or federal agency.
It does not matter what letters or made-up name is behind a person’s name when they tell you they can build your wall/course/building. Each state law requires the person who approves it be licensed by the state to plan and make sure the works is done correctly. The actual builder can be anyone in most cases, although this varies by state law. But somewhere in the process a city, county or state requires the plans be created or approved by a licensed engineer or architect.
You may also have to make sure that the city; county or state code is met and approved as well as fire code.
Why pay the extra money? Because if something goes wrong, only that license can prove you are not intentional injuring people. Here is why.
· The architect or engineer is going to be local; you can find him to have him or her testify on your behalf. You won’t be calling a number that is not being answered in another state.
· The license is going to give you the first defense, rather than a liability.
· If the licensed person did screw up, they have insurance to cover you rather than a general liability policy which has holes the insurance company can use to exit the lawsuit with its money in its pocket.
· There is probably a law or regulation that requires it. If you violate this law and do not have the plans or construction approved by the appropriate people you are negligent per se. As such, you may not have a defense to the claim, including the release you use.
· The licensed local person is going to know the laws and regulations you must meet. You should not have a government inspector show up later and close you down.
It might be a problem if you are first climbing wall/gym/ropes course the licensing bureau has ever seen. You may need to bring photographs, videos and other examples to show what you are doing.
You may also have to do the same if you are hiring a licensed contractor to explain to them what you are trying to accomplish.
Either way, in the long run, it is the only legal way to go.
It is better than jail time, by the way. Yes, if you have not correctly licensed your structure, you could be facing zoning issues and violation of other laws, which could result in fines. In this example, the owner of this tree house ended up in court. See Golden takes aim at elaborate treehouseor Fight over Golden tree house set to go to court.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
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States where the Sales Representative Law has been declared Unconstitutional.
|STATE||IC LAW||DAMAGES||TIME TO PAY COMMISSIONS||WRITTEN K REQUIRED||CITATION||MISC.|
|Kentucky*||Yes||Commission due plus exemplary damages not to exceed 2 times commissions due plus attorney’s fees & costs.||30 days||No||Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 371. Sections 371.370-371.375 and 371.380-371.385||In March 1995, the United States District court for the Western District of Kentucky found Kentucky’s statue unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection clause because it imposed additional burdens on manufacturers that did not have a permanent or fixed place of business in Kentucky. Cecil v Duck head Apparel Co., 895 F. Supp. 155 (W.D. Ky. 1995).|
|Florida*||Yes||Commissions plus punitive damages up to twice the commissions plus attorney’s fees||14 days after termination of the K||Official Florida Statutes, Section 686.201
|In September 1992, the Court of Appeals for the third District of Florida held that Florida’s statute “on its face discriminates against interstate commerce by imposing requirements on out-of-state Manufacturers or companies which are not applicable to in-state business.” D.G.D., Inc. V. Jason Berkowitz, 10,115,605 So.2d 496 (Fla. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1992)|
States without laws concerning payment of Independent Contractor Commissions
 (a) An accounting of the orders for which payment is made, including the customer’s name and invoice number; (b) the rate of commission on each order; and (c) information related to any chargeback’s included in the accounting. No contract can contain a provision waiving any rights established by this statute.
 The notice must include reasons for non-renewal & 60 days must be allowed to correct any deficiencies. There are penalties for non-compliance but they must be settled by arbitration & cannot be pursued in a court of law
 In January 1993, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that the Texas sales representative statute was unconstitutional on Commerce Clause grounds because it applies exclusively to business with no permanent place of business in Texas. John Havir & Assoc. Inc. V. Tacoa, Inc., 810 F. Supp. 752 (N.D. Texas 1993). In 1995, the statute was amended to address the issues raised by the court decision.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
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