Leonard K. Lucenko, PhD ::::
Case Synopsis: Patron was on a ride at an amusement park. As she exited the ride, she slipped on the top metal step, fell down and struck the wooden railing on the platform and seriously injured her right shoulder. An investigation was undertaken to determine whether the design of the entrance/exit to this amusement ride was dangerous and defective.
Expert Analysis: An inspection of the amusement ride revealed that the design of the entrance/exit to the amusement ride was defective in that there was a lack of any type of railing or other means of support for patrons as they exited the ride. This was particularly egregious because the nature of the ride could leave patrons exiting the ride disoriented and unsteady. The top two steps were metal and the bottom step was wooden. There also were two water rides located near this ride and patrons from the water rides would enter this ride, making the steps wet and slippery. These two conditions created the hazardous and dangerous situation that led to the patron’s injuries.
Conclusion: Results of the inspection showed that this ride did not comply with Section 10 of Standard F 1637, Standard Practice for Safe Walking Surfaces, of the ASTM. Section 10 requires that visual cues, such as warnings, handrails and other cues, are used to improve the safety of walkway transitions. In this case, there were no railings or other visual cues to assist the patrons as they exited the ride. The owner/operator also should have taken action to make the metal steps slip resistant, especially since they were on notice that patrons from the water rides would enter the subject ride and create wet, slippery conditions on the steps. There also were no warnings regarding the dangerous condition of the wet, slippery metal steps.Case Studies