ASTM F770: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You
I want to ask you all a question: Have you actually read ASTM F770-18? If you answered “yes,” then I have a follow-up: Are you following it to the letter? If you’re not or you answered “no” to having read F770, you’re opening yourself up to possible significant issues.
F770 is titled “Standard Practice for Ownership, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices.” The document, based in part on F1193, which provides a standard for the manufacture of amusement devices, sets specific requirements for ride owners and operators. These requirements are well-thought-out, well-intended, and for the betterment of the industry and our guests.
Among the responsibilities outlined in the standard are the individual development by amusement ride owners or operators to create documentation specific to the operation, maintenance, inspection, evacuation, training, and repairs to amusement equipment. Documentation must be developed by the owner or operator for each attraction and kept on file. It doesn’t afford the owner or operator the luxury of just relying on the manufacturer’s operating manual. That manual certainly can be used as a guide for the development of the individual documentation, but it’s not the acceptable document, according to F770.
So, what’s the big deal? For one, if you’re ever drawn into litigation over a ride incident, the plaintiff’s attorney likely will go directly to F770 and cite it. The attorney will grill you on all aspects of your application and compliance with F770. If you can’t support a “yes” answer to that line of questioning, you have significantly jeopardized your defense.
Second, the standard was developed to create a system where each amusement ride owner or operator is intentionally involved in creating a series of systems and documentation to ensure their attraction operates at the highest level possible. It’s well-maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines; it’s inspected according to the manufacturer’s and industry guidelines; and ride operators are trained—with training documented, repeatable, and consistent. It ensures that owners and operators know their equipment and follow an intentional and developed system on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis for the safest and most well-operated/maintained equipment possible.
All of this leads to greater guest and employee safety and satisfaction. In addition, a well-maintained and well-run attraction should require less service and lower operational costs.
You can join ASTM and request a copy of F770-18 by visiting here. As a voting member of ASTM, I highly recommend you join, learn, and participate. It will only make you, your FEC, and our industry stronger.
Drew Tewksbury is director of McGowan Amusement Group. Contact him at [email protected].