The industry has grown exponentially over the past few years, with around 150 parks now up and running in the UK. With the number of trampoline parks growing by 3000% since November 2014, it’s no wonder that regulation has struggled to keep up!
A great way for children and adults alike to enjoy exercise, thousands of customers have undoubtedly enjoyed a safe and fun experience. There has, however, been hundreds of reported incidents at these venues as the activity has increased in popularity, suggesting a need for more definitive guidelines.
In total, 15 organisations were involved in the development of the British Standards Institution Publicly Available Standard (BSI PAS) guidelines, including the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), who sponsored the specification.
The specification addresses the following areas;
• Requirements for the height of a trampoline to be a specific distance from the floor
• Requirements with regards to the framework padding
• Details for calculating capacity and how an operator can adequately ascertain when a trampoline park has reached peak capacity
• Emergency scenarios, including an emergency action plan and emergency evacuation plan
Source: BSI Media Centre
As of August 2017, any trampoline businesses wishing to become members of the IATP will need to comply with these standards. From this point, visitors will be encouraged to look out for the IATP verification before using the facility.
We’ve been speaking to some of the industry’s key players to get their thoughts.
“We are delighted to have been a manufacturer representative on the BSi Steering Group that developed PAS5000:2017. The resulting standard allows exciting innovation and development of activities to ensure a fun and rewarding user experience, whilst ensuring the environment is as safe as possible for children (and adults!) to enjoy. PAS5000:2017 compliant parks will be able to demonstrate their commitment to safety which is essential to ensure the longevity of the industry. By stopping a free-for-all in terms of the development of overly dangerous activities, PAS5000:2017 ensures trampoline parks remain a safe place to have fun and get fit for generations of kids to come.”
-Nick Booth, Managing Director, Continental Sports Ltd.
“I am very pleased that we have published the BSI PAS 5000, creating something that will form the backbone of standards across the UK.
The new safety standards aim to reduce injuries at trampoline parks and drive tougher safety measures forward. The safety of customers visiting trampoline parks is of paramount importance and anything to help make our industry more regulated can only be a good thing for fun-seekers.”
-Peter Brown, MD of Freedome, founding member of the UK subcommittee of the IATP, the first chair of the group and the technical author of the British Standard.
“Every play sector is reliant on its reputation for long-term success and while still in its infancy, there’s no denying that the safety of trampoline parks has often been questioned by the media and the industry alike. There are inherent risks in trampoline play, of course, and the early data suggested that there was good reason for people to voice their concern. So this set of guidelines is a crucial step in the right direction for operators who clearly would prefer to be able to guarantee the health and safety of their customers as far as is practically possible. I hope operators take them on board and use this opportunity to tighten up their offer and underpin their rapid expansion with real operational improvements.”
-Tommy Leighton, Editor of Indoor Play Magazine
The full BSI specification can be purchased here.