Following a fatality in Richmond and several serious injuries at B.C. trampoline parks in 2017, Technical Safety BC heard calls from local health authorities, parents and municipal governments for trampoline parks to be regulated to protect public safety.
In response, Technical Safety BC undertook a comprehensive review of the trampoline park industry. Based on our research and input from industry, experts and the public, we are making a recommendation to the Province of British Columbia that trampoline parks be subject to regulation under the Safety Standards Act.
Our recommendation is based on research into available codes and standards, as well as consultation with the public, industry experts, operators, owners and patrons of trampoline parks. There was general consensus that some level of regulation could benefit the industry and improve safety. We will continue our work throughout 2019 to determine the kind of regulations that may be appropriate.
April 1, 2019 to April 24, 2019
- April 9: A workshop was held with 10 owners/operators attending from eight different gymnastics facilities with trampolines, trampoline parks and other trampoline facilities.
- April 10 -15: Phone interviews were conducted with five owners/operators of five different facilities who were unable to attend the workshop.
- April 10: At an open house for parents at Richard McBride Elementary School in New Westminster, organized by the Richard McBride Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), input was received from five parents. This event was promoted through outreach to 27 schools, 14 corresponding PACs and 3,300 members of the New West Moms Facebook group. The Vancouver Sun also wrote an article about the engagement.
- April 13: A pop-up engagement at the Killarney Community Centre in Vancouver attracted 125 people and 50 of them completed surveys.
- April 15: At a presentation at the Glenbrook Middle School PAC meeting in New Westminster input was received from seven participants, including parents, teachers and the school principal.
- April 1 – 24: A public online survey was completed by 377 people. The online survey was targeted to parents across B.C. through various PAC and parents’ social media channels, including several posts by the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils representing 700+ parent committees.
Several key findings emerged from input received from industry owners/operators including:
- Safety of patrons is a high priority for all the owners/operators who participated in the engagement, and they are open to further exploration of how to increase the safety of trampoline parks.
- Defining and understanding the different business models of gymnastics facilities, trampoline facilities and trampoline parks will be an important consideration when defining potential regulation.
- There is a high degree of support from owners/operators for standardizing risk management strategies at trampoline parks, including:
- implementing staff-to-patron ratios
- training/certification of staff/coaches
- introduction of safety procedures
- rules for patrons attending trampoline parks such as limitations for flipping/inversions
- Several owners/operators strongly expressed that they believe more work needs to be done to understand the data on injuries and how potential regulation will prevent injuries.
- There were a range of opinions concerning the cost of potential regulation through Technical Safety BC and how it would impact facility operations and business models. Some owners/operators thought that the estimated cost was reasonable, others thought that some regulation fees would be acceptable, and some felt that the cost would have a negative impact on their business operations.
Several key findings emerged from input received from the public including:
- Parents and the general public are asking for more adequately-trained supervision at trampoline parks. The general perception of respondents is that trampoline parks are “unsafe.”
- The input received from parents and the general public shows that safety is a top priority for trampoline park users and potential users, and the majority of people who provided input support potential regulation of the trampoline park industry.
- A facility’s ability to respond to emergencies was also of particular importance for parents; specifically, the need for regulation pertaining to staff qualifications and training such as First Aid and emergency response.
- There was a high degree of support for regulation in all potential aspects of regulation outlined in the survey including: operations, staff qualifications and training, maintenance of equipment and overall facilities, equipment design and technical specifications, insurance requirements and the design of the facility.
- More than half of all respondents would be willing to pay at least a 10% increase in the cost of a trampoline park entrance fee to support the cost of regulation — 33.79% would be willing to pay an increase of 10%, and 28.3% would pay any price to ensure that all aspects of trampoline parks are regulated.
Input leads to action:
Technical Safety BC is making the recommendation to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing that trampoline parks be regulated under the Safety Standards Act in order to increase safety at trampoline parks and other facilities with institutional trampolines. We will continue our work throughout 2019 to determine the kind of regulation that may be appropriate.
Technical Safety BC is also continuing its work to review the Amusement Devices industry and regulation system more broadly, throughout the remainder of 2019.