-Local Govermment Insurance Trust -'RISK MANAGEMENT BULLETIN No. 64 April 15, 1996 LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST Loss Control Guidelines for Public Skateboard and Rollerblading Facilities INTRODUCTION: To assist us in preparing this report, we have been in contact with the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA), Risk Insurance Managers Society (RIMS), and reviewed the Hazard Analysis Report EIA (Hazard Identification and Analysis) on skateboarding provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Skateboarding continues to be a rapidly growing activity in the United States and, with its popularity, brings the chance for increased exposure to a rise in. accidents. The following paragraph from the Consumer Product Safety Commission states: "Because there is an element of risk in the sport itself. even optimal conditions would not completely preclude accidental injury. An experienced skateboarder wearing full protective equipment and riding a weu-engineered and maintained skateboard in a carefully-controlled environment is still at risk for injury to death. The probability may be reduced, but cannot be completely eliminated. If your local government is considering a skateboarding facility, the three most important areas are supervision, protective gear, and rules/warning signs. The proposed facility should be supervised at all times when it is open to the general public. The person or supervisor in charge of ' the facility must have sufficient knowledge of skateboarding to enable him/her to review and determine the skill level of the skaters, before permitting them to use the facility. The facility should be divided into designated areas for beginners and more experienced skaters- The supervisor also should be trained in CPR and first aid care. GENERAL: The skateboard facility (i.e., park(s), ramps, and/or "areas" must be designed and constructed with a priority commitment to reducing the risk of injury to participants, spectators and users, and to reduce the liability exposure to both the local government. The purpose of the skateboard facility, park, rwnp, or "area" should be to give skaters a safer alternative to skating on streets'--' sidewalks, and in parking lots. I,ocal Govermment Insurance Trust Risk Management Bulletin No. 64 The number of people allowed in the area should be limited to minimize injuries resulting from" collisions. The Facility Director or whoever is in charge should determine the patron limit based upon the size of the skateboard area, the number of employees on duty, seasonal demand, etc. This will help insure a safe management ratio between supervisors and users. Employees should be certified in Red Cross First Aid and an appropriate fire aid kit should be readily available on site. Appropriate police and ambulance phone numbers, as well as ready access -to a telephone, should be maintained. An adequate emergency plan must be developed for the skateboard operation and should be appropriately communicated to all employees. EQUIPMENT There must be a documented daily visual check by the employees on duty for any visible hazards or repair needs. There must be a documented complete inspection performed by the maintenance supervisor at least once monthly; included in all inspections should be any walking or standing surfaces, fencing, steps, handrails, spectator areas, and or any construction deficiencies. All maintenance and repair work should be documented as to the type of maintenance performed, the name of the employee performing the work, and the date completed. Safety equipment must be worm at all times while using the facility. This equipment shall include, but not limited to, the following: appropriate skateboard in good working condition, helmet, knee and elbow pads, gloves and wrist supports, gloves and proper shoes. There is protective equipment currently being manufactured that will help reduce injuries. Additional equipment for consideration are specifically designed slip resistant shoes, helmets, padded jackets, padded shorts, as well as padded hips, knees and elbows. The most important feature to look for in protective equipment is comfort, design and function. The equipment should not interfere with the skateboarder's hearing, movement and/or vision. The skateboard supervisors (employees) should prohibit skaters from using the facility if their equipment is not deemed satisfactory. ENVIRONMENT: The Public Risk Management Association (P recommends that skateboarding should be allowed onlv in designated areas, and the following minimum loss prevention measures should be enforced: 1. The designated area should be secured by a lock, with one entrance which is securely locked during all closed hours. Designated entrances and exits to skateboarding areas should be used one at a time. Local Governiment Insurance Trust Risk Management Bulletin No. 64 · Complicated tricks require careful practice. Only at specifically designated areas and times will tricks be ' performed under the supervision of the facility managers and supervisors. Skateboard riding also requires good balance and body control skills. Many of the young skateboarders have not developed these skills and do not react quickly. enough to prevent injury. It is important for supervisors to review and train skateboarders how to fall in case of an accident. This brief review course with skateboarders help them reduce their chances of being injured. The following is a list of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recommended failing techniques: · If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have so far to fall. · In a fall, the idea is to land on the fleshiest part of your body. · If you fall, try to roll, rather than absorb the force with your elbows. · Even though it may be difficult during a fall, try to relax your body, rather than go stiff. Because of the exposure of skateboarding and the nature of catastrophic injury associated with the activity, it is currently considered a risk, where there is no known source of commercial insurance available. If your local government wants to set up a skateboarding facility, we strongly recommend that you transfer your risk by the way of waivers or via a private contract. The transfer of a risk to a contractor is a method by which a skateboarding facility is managed and maintained through a lease with a private contractor. The private contractor indemnities the local government for any negligence and places the local government on its insurance policy as an additional insured. This facility is used by both experienced and inexperienced skateboarders. Serious injury may result from being hit by a skateboard, falling or colliding. The (Town, City, County) does not assume responsibility for injuries SKATEBOARDING IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. SKATEBOARDING FACTS A skateboard ranges from 24" to 7' long, may be motorized, have sails or (for use on ice) blades, or even bear a braking mechanism. For general purposes of our memorandum, we will designate skateboarding as a means of enjoyment and sport. The skateboards that are used for enjoyment or sport are made of wood, aluminum, plastic or fiberglass and are usually used in the street or a specialized arena. As a result of a Consumer Products Safety Commission NEESS Hospital Report, the following was revealed: Local Government Insurance Trust Risk Management Bulletin No. 64 guidelines with their Risk Manager or Town Attorney to insure that the skateboarding policy is tailored toward specific local government needs. LGIT does not represent that these recommendations identify and address 'all of the unsafe or hazardous conditions associated with the operation of the skateboard facility, nor do we represent that implementing our recommendations is the best possible solution and that no injury or financial loss will occur if they are followed. It is our opinion that implementing the recommendations should reduce the potential for accidents. These recommendations are made from a Loss Control perspective, and are not a substitute for legal advice. Final language of any agreement/waiver should be reviewed by the local goverment's counsel. This bulletin is intended to assist in minimizing potential exposure to financial loss and is not intended to insure compliance with federal, state or local laws, regulations or rules, nor is it intended to be a substitute of legal counsel, actuarial assistance or other professional services. Sample Facility Regulations... Skateboard Ramp Rules and Regulations 1. All skaters must have a registration card. 2. All skaters must provide their own skateboard and equipment. 3. Safety equipment must be worn at all times. 4. Only one (1) skater on the ramp at a time. 5. Only three (3) skaters on the platform at one time. 6. No food or beverages allowed inside the fenced area. 7. Extreme recklessness will not be tolerated. 8. No destroying or defacing public property. 9. Skateboards are allowed in authorized areas only. 10. All other park rules and regulations must be followed. Infractions of the above rules may result in loss of skateboard card and all skating privileges.
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