North Carolina Dept. of Labor Sees No Need for Additional Regulations on Zip Lines

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The North Carolina Department of Labor released a report earlier this month stating that zip lines are more like sports with active participants than amusement park rides with passive users and there will always be a risk involved.

“No amount of regulation will remove all risk from this industry, and the department is not convinced that additional regulations will create a safe industry,” the agency wrote in the report.

It notes that most zip line deaths are caused by human error, and riders receive training and sign a waiver acknowledging the risks prior to starting the course.

The Department of Labor wrote the report following requests by lawmakers reacting to the death of a 12-year-old who fell from a zip line last summer while attending camp. It recommended that if legislators want to do something, they should suggest that engineers approve all zip line design and construction.

Despite the report, Sen. Michael Lee of New Hanover County is co-chairing a legislative committee that will look at adventure courses like zip lines and high ropes courses.

“I’m typically not a fan of additional regulations on business,” explained Sen. Lee. “But when we’re talking about the health, life, and safety of our citizens, particularly our children, we really do need to be focusing on those areas and see what we need to be doing to protect people.”

Lee’s primary concerns are the equipment used and staff training. The Senator indicated that the operators he talked to are welcoming restrictions, believing that the business owners want to be able to show people the activities are safe.

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Sarah Borodaeff is the digital editor and project manager for Adventure Park Insider magazine. A professional ski bum and former zip guide, Sarah enjoys any excuse to talk about outdoor adventures.

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