Reviewing and Adhering to ASTM F770-18

First of a series…

A few months ago, I shared with you the fact that many show owners and operators are either unaware of or are not following their responsibilities as outlined in ASTM F770-18 (Standard Practice for Ownership, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices). This is both dangerous and problematic for the owners/operators and the industry.

Let me start by strongly recommending that each one of you become a member of ASTM. For less than $100 a year, you can participate in the organization that helps set the standards that the majority of states and jurisdictions are now adopting. With your membership, you can access the specific standards and understand their impact on your organization. That said, I cannot provide you with the F770-18 standard, but I can interpret and dissect it to help you.

Over the next few months, we will tackle some of the key concepts within the standard. We’ll begin with sections 4.1

  • Section 4 of the standard states the following:  4.1 The owner/operator shall develop a program with necessary tasks to operate and maintain the amusement ride or device. The program shall include but not be limited to:
  • 4.1.1 An operations program as outlined in Section 5;

It clearly states that it is the responsibility of the owner/operator to develop specific programs for their rides or devices. These programs include Operations, Maintenance, Inspection, and Training. Further, the standard lays out specific guidelines for each program which we will dive into shortly. The key here is that YOU have to create your own programs. This does not mean simply taking the manufacturers’ manuals and calling them a ‘program.’ Specifically sitting down and creating a unique program for your company that addresses the four key areas identified in Section 4.

Creating an Operations Program: The owner/operator shall prepare an Operating Document for each amusement ride or device based on the recommended instructions and specifications provided by the manufacturer. This Operating Document shall be made available to each amusement ride or device operator and attendant.

Key points to consider:

  • Specific operating instructions from the manufacturer for each ride;
  • Description of the ride and related duties;
  • Specific duties of each assigned operator(s) and Position(s) of the amusement ride or device;
  • General Safety Procedures;
  • Instructions on specific procedures to follow in the of unusual conditions or an interruption of operation,an Evacuation Plan.

Remember, you will need to create an Operations Program for each and every ride or attraction you own. Utilize resources from the manufacturer, operational experience, and other available industry resources. A copy of the Operations Program should be found on the ride/attraction as well as in the office for back up. Ride operators should be very familiar with the Program and it should be an integral part of the ultimate training and maintenance programs which we will go into detail on in later editions of Midway.

This is meant to be a high-level introduction to the standards specified in F770-18. Again, I highly encourage you to join ASTM and obtain a copy of the standard yourself; then it’s time to go to work and make sure that your show or park complies fully with the standard. You wouldn’t want to find out in court someday that you failed to meet your own industry standard!

Keep it safe out there.