Jump to it. Improving safety in trampoline parks.

The trampoline park industry has experienced massive global expansion in recent years and the UK has enjoyed its fair share of that growth. It is easy to see why the pastime is so popular with parks offering wall-to-wall bouncing fun for both children and adults. But the activity is not without risk, and accidents – such as soft tissue injuries and fractures – have happened in these indoor play centres and several high profile cases have been in the news very recently.

  • Design in safety!

Following a call for more safety measures at trampoline parks in the UK, March 2017 saw the publication of the British Standards Institute specific standards for the construction and operation of a fixed indoor trampoline park. A total of 13 groups – including British Gymnastics and the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) – have contributed to the production of these guidelines for the UK market, which will complement existing health and safety practices. The new guidelines will help managers with the design and operation of their parks. A year on and it is clear that these standards have been embraced by the industry, the IATP recommends that all those involved in trampoline parks should be working to these standards as a minimum and from August 2018 will require all members to commit to working to them.

In terms of injuries, it was reported in the US that trampoline park injuries increased significantly between 2010 and 2014 and that trampoline park injuries were associated with higher rates of hospital admissions than trampoline injuries sustained at home (1). The IATP responded to this study by welcoming it as a means of furthering understanding of the safety issues associated with trampoline parks but noted that due to industry growth from 25 parks in 2010 to 350 in 2014 (in the US), the increase in injury number was to be expected. The IATP suggested that the rate of injury is a more meaningful statistic and reported the risk to be very low, at less than one reportable injury per 10,000 jumpers (2).

Nevertheless, the IATP have stated that trampoline jumping is best enjoyed when appropriate safety measures are in place and that safety should always be a priority. Peter Brown is chairman of the IATP. “As an industry, we’ve been working very hard to increase safety across the board as this new industry started in 2014 with only four or five parks but now there are 120 parks open,” he told Midlands newspaper Express & Star.

  • Learn from similar industries

Alongside this drive to improve standards, Control Group is increasingly working with trampoline parks. One of the industries where we have been particularly successful is leisure.

We have delivered and commissioned hundreds of sites across Europe in recent years, and continue to do so. The trampoline park industry has benefited from this experience and Control Group has already supplied tailor-made CCTV solutions to many parks.

We recognise that the needs of trampoline park operators are extremely complex and unique in the leisure industry. The risk of litigation in the event of an accident is a concern and so safety is paramount. At the same time, operators must run parks that offer a fantastic, fun customer experience full the very latest in trampoline park entertainment.

  • Work with specialists

To address these needs, Control Group launched their new brand TP1 at the IATP’s 1st Annual European International Conference and Trade Show in London on 22-23 May 2017, and will be at the second conference in Amsterdam in June this year, with new products to help operators stand out from the crowd.

TP1 specialises in smile-a-second technology installations that will transform customer experience, whilst creating new profit streams, protecting operators’ peace of mind and building USPs. One point to note is that their sophisticated technology can store up to 12-months of footage. This is a significant innovation, given that some parks only have one month’s worth of recorded data.

  • Optimise your CCTV

Our high-quality CCTV service is essential in the event of an accident. Footage can be easily accessed and the reasons for a mishap can be quickly understood, so that it doesn’t happen again. Plus, the cameras make staff and customers feel protected from problems.

Alan Hickson, Director of Operations at Control Group, said: “We provide state of the art, high definition CCTV cameras and have developed our systems specifically for the trampoline park market to optimise hard drive usage in terms of space. As a result, we can provide 12-months of CCTV footage storage. This is incredibly useful as personal injury claims can be made many months after an incident occurs. There is a real need for high quality, comprehensive CCTV provision to help protect staff and customers and provide evidence in insurance claims. Through TP1, we also offer bespoke IT and AV solutions such as digital signage, sound systems and lighting to really enhance the user experience and make a park stand out from the competition.”

Stuart Fannon, Managing Director of Control Group, said: “We have seen first-hand the improvements in operational efficiency that are made at trampoline parks who ensure that their security systems are adequate both in terms of liability management and loss prevention. Carefully designed systems that comply with park owners’ public liability insurance requirements can help to make significant financial savings, whilst at the same time ensuring the safety of customers and employees.

"We have been very impressed by the response of the trampoline industry to improving safety standards, which is evident in both the publication of the British Standards Institution (BSI) construction and operation specification standards, as well as the continued research and improvement of the trampolining equipment itself.

“Furthermore, the industry has embraced technology in addressing training compliance and liability management within these fitness environments, as well as best practice in terms of general health and safety. All in all, it makes for good reading in terms of an industry-wide proactive and collaborative response which will ensure even further success. We welcome the call for safety standards within the industry and are proud to deliver systems that will help parks achieve compliance.”

References:

1. Kasmire KE, Rogers SC, Sturm JJ. Trampoline Park and Home Trampoline Injuries. Pediatrics. 2016; 138(3):e20161236

2. Statement in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics trampoline park and home trampoline injury study