Archive for the Amusement Ride Operator Training Category


Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 | Permalink

When people visit amusement facilities, their primary focus is having fun. Guests expect that a facility will be safe and its personnel well-trained, but most do not realize the lengths to which facilities go in meeting and surpassing such expectations. Crucial to these efforts is the industry’s widespread use of formalized operational procedures and programs, including in the area of training.

Amusement facilities know that properly trained ride personnel are an important part of providing guests with a fun and safe visit. Employees are trained using procedures established by the facility working together with manufacturers and insurers, and in accordance with relevant public laws. Training products and guidelines from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), other industry groups, and advisory bodies like ASTM International are also used. These processes are constantly documented, standardized, practiced, and upgraded.

Front-line personnel are screened for important characteristics, such as the polite but firm assertiveness needed to ensure that ride rules are being followed. This deliberate and sequential manner extends to staff development, as personnel are instructed as admission or loading attendants before training to be operators, and operators of simple rides are brought along step-by-step before graduating to more complex rides.

Training is on a continual basis and includes: operations, admissions, ride systems, accessibility for guests with disabilities, maintenance, and emergency procedures. In addition to “hands-on” instruction with more experienced staff, ride operators commonly receive training through case studies, structured drills, group discussions, and/or seminar presentations.

Additionally, facilities document and validate the training which takes place. Parks and attractions work with manufacturers and others to develop a range of manuals, checklists, and logbooks in establishing an operational program for each ride. Only after employees earn the required authorization through this training process are they then permitted to staff a ride.

To assist in this educational activity, IAAPA and other industry groups offer a variety of informative training manuals and videotapes and manufacturers sponsor a host of well-attended operations and safety workshops where the latest standards and techniques are shared and discussed.

Trained and qualified ride operators and attendants are only one element in a facility’s total safety program. Together with a ride’s own redundant safety and operational mechanisms that reduce the likelihood of staff error, various daily internal checks, and one or more outside inspections, front-line personnel help make amusement rides one of the safest forms of recreation available to the public. In addition, through “Guest Relations” offices, signage, and verbal directions, parks work to enlist their visitors as partners in enjoying rides safely and correctly.

Overall, the training of amusement ride employees draws on the resources of manufacturers, regulatory bodies, advisory groups like ASTM International, industry associations, emergency/rescue agencies, insurance companies, and the facilities themselves. The industry takes pride in its comprehensive training programs and its commitment to staffing parks and attractions with well-trained personnel who are dedicated to providing guests with a fun and safe visit every time out.

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