If Faced with a Lawsuit: The Importance of Frontline Training

frontline safety

Amusement Park Lawsuits and the Importance of Frontline Safety Training 

Legal troubles are every business owner’s nightmare – especially in the amusement industry. Some of the biggest nightmares are caused by the mistakes or negligence of a park’s ride operators. Operator missteps can include failure to verify every lap bar is secure, sending a second train onto a rollercoaster track when the first is not clear, hitting the ride’s brakes abruptly and without reason, and more.

To avoid these scenarios and mitigate the risk associated with negligence, amusement parks leadership must focus on frontline safety training to ensure every staff member understands the responsibility they accept through their employment. Excellent training procedures and improved hiring practices can significantly reduce the chances of accidents and the potential for lawsuits. 

A business can be held liable for employee negligence

When a guest legally enters a park and suffers an injury, the business faces the risk of being held responsible. The safety of all guests is the responsibility of the company, its executive and management teams, and all frontline employees.

An incident that took place in a New Jersey amusement park in 2019 exemplifies the risk. The guest claims park employees assured him that a ride was safe and appropriate for his physical health. However, according to a lawsuit filed on the guest’s behalf, the ride caused him severe injury and physical pain, leading to the suit against the park.

An amusement park employee may be liable for damages if they cause an accident. However, according to Respondeat Superior laws, the employer can also be responsible for an employee’s negligence.

Amusement parks oversee employee training and day-to-day job functions and can be held liable for employee negligence if a plaintiff is able to show the following:

  • The plaintiff was harmed as a result of the employee’s negligence.
  • The employee was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred.

Read more: Do Liability Waivers Work for Amusement Parks?

Frontline safety training can prevent accidents

In another incident, a theme park was found negligent for failing to properly train and supervise ride operators and ensure they had followed the manufacturer’s instructions. The employees had failed to:

  • Push the car’s restraint bar down “as tight as possible.”
  • Properly perform a “push-pull” test on the lap bar.
  • Push the emergency-stop button after observing a restraint bar in an improper position.
  • Adequately communicate instructions and dangers to the rider. 

In both examples, proper frontline safety training could have prevented these dangerous incidents.

Take hiring seriously

Hiring the right people and properly training them can make all the difference. Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of a ride operator should include passing certification tests to ensure knowledge of how to operate one or more rides. Operators should demonstrate a commitment to safety and attention to detail above all else.

A ride operator frequently needs to use close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision while managing rides. They must be able to respond to emergencies like power failures or smoke alarms and other life-threatening situations that require CPR training.

Read more: Reopening & Preparing: Active Shooter Response

Make sure tour operation is protected against negligence claims

Liability insurance can play a vital role in protecting your park. If your business is deemed negligent for ride-related injuries, you’ll be required to award damages to an injured party. Insurance for family entertainment centers provides coverage for medical bills, settlements, or judgments. It also provides coverage if you did not post adequate warnings regarding the potential risks posed by a ride. Partner with McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance as the first step in your frontline safety plan.

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