The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) has released two “white papers” that highlight what it sees as shortcomings in proposed changes to the ASTM F2959-16 standard, currently being balloted by ASTM F24. The ballot would eliminate the enumerated “exclusions” from the standard for educational, training, teambuilding, fitness, and therapeutic programs.
The white papers were completed ahead of the close of balloting on the proposed changes on Aug. 13.
The white papers, essentially long and short versions that share their main points, point out what ACCT views as flaws in the reasoning behind the three rationales for eliminating the exemptions—enhancing public safety, reducing a rising injury rate for zip lines, and making the F2959 standard comparable to other standards, that do not list exclusions, including ANSI/ACCT.
For example, the short version points out that “should the ballot pass, aerial adventure courses in many jurisdictions could find themselves subject to amusement ride regulations (including fees, inspections, and other requirements) with no consideration for the intended function of their course and its operating system, or the long-standing equivalent level of safety provided by alternate standards such as ANSI/ACCT 03-2016.”
The long version provides detailed comments on the ballot, to help guide ACCT members in their own comments on the ASTM ballot.
“ACCT supports the efforts of ASTM to develop standards in support of public safety,” the shorter white paper notes. “Current ASTM F2959 definitions will need to be reevaluated or created for terms such as ‘concession,’ and ‘commercial recreation,’” among others, and “should be based on operating systems and delivery modes rather than the appearance of a structure,” it continues. “Until those changes are made, the current scope – including the listed exclusions – should remain in place,” it concludes.
Another key point, according to the long version: “Current F2959-16 content still utilizes a lot of language from F2291, the design standard for amusement rides such as roller coasters, and there is minimal or no language regarding the human factor inherent in many aerial adventure courses. Education and teaching programs have intentionally chosen the human factor. The intent and outcomes of team building cannot be generated within amusement ride systems. ‘Human managed procedures’ are critical to providing participants with the intended experience.”
To obtain the complete white papers, visit www.acctinfo.org. ACCT is posting the white papers to its homepage so that anyone can access them.