October 12-16 brought the ASTM F24 Virtual Conference for the design, manufacturing, and operation of amusement rides and devices. Over 300 people met in various online sessions to discuss changes to the standards that are driving safety in the amusement ride industry.
ASTM is made possible by a group of dedicated professionals and volunteers that make things run efficiently. Generally, tasks are delegated to those who are willing to raise their hands and volunteer (if no one puts up their hand then nothing happens). It is refreshing to see many individuals standing up to contribute their expertise in order to ensure the rides industry operates safely.
During my time at the ASTM F24 meeting, I compiled five takeaways from a number of the task groups I attended. These are only a fraction of the meetings and work done at the conference which includes task groups from hay-rides to loads and structures.
AR/VR Task Group
More amusement parks and devices are incorporating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The focus of this task group was to ensure that headsets used have proper sanitation measures in place to keep patrons safe from viruses. The group had a presentation from an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) representative describing their progress in this area and how it could influence the ASTM F24 standard.
Canadian Task Group
The Canadian task group includes representation of regulators, manufacturers, and designers/engineers from across Canada. The purpose of this group was to harmonize the ASTM F24 standards for use in Canada, currently the Z2783. Each province and territory provides updates and highlights items that could be presented to the main ASTM F24 body for consideration.
This task group presented a process called an impact evaluation as a new approach to dealing with ride modifications. This process would be used to replace the long-standing terminology called major/minor modifications allowing operators to assess and mitigate risks instead of providing a prescriptive list of tasks to be performed regardless of their relevance. The first step in the ride modification process is the impact evaluation to determine the impact on safety.
The risk assessment task group was created by the executive committee to develop an attraction specific standard for risk assessments. The team presented their progress and draft documents. The new standard includes a high level of harmonization with current risk standards such as ISO 12100, ANSI B11, and EN 13814. The risk assessment standard would pave the way for an established method of risk evaluation and mitigation in the attraction industry.
Linda Freeman for Board of Directors
On a final note, Linda Freeman of Rockwell Automation, a long term amusement professional and industry member, has been nominated for the board of ASTM International. Linda is a great selection for the task as she brings her unique and expert perspectives to the ASTM community.
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