Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
Update Virginia Amusement Device Regulations
Stage: Final
 
13VAC5-31-20

13VAC5-31-20. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Amusement device" means (i) a device or structure open to the public by which persons are conveyed or moved in an unusual manner for diversion and (ii) passenger tramways.

"Bungee cord" means the elastic rope to which the jumper is attached which lengthens and shortens to produce a bouncing action.

"Carabineer" means a shaped metal device with a gate used to connect sections of a bungee cord, jump rigging, equipment, or safety gear.

"DHCD" means the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

"Gravity ride" means a ride that is installed on an inclined surface, which depends on gravity for its operation to convey a passenger from the top of the incline to the bottom, and which conveys a passenger in or on a carrier tube, bag, bathing suit, or clothes.

"Ground operator" means a person who assists the jump master to prepare a jumper for jumping.

"Harness" means an assembly to be worn by a bungee jumper to be attached to a bungee cord. It is designed to prevent the wearer from becoming detached from the bungee system.

"Jump master" means a person who has responsibility for the bungee jumper and who takes the jumper through the final stages to the actual jump.

"Jump zone" means the space bounded by the maximum designed movements of the bungee jumper.

"Jumper" means the person who departs from a height attached to a bungee system.

"Kiddie ride" means an amusement device where the passenger or patron height is limited to 54 inches or less, the design capacity of passengers or patrons is 12 or less, and the assembly time for the device is two hours or less.

"Landing area" means the surface area of ground or water directly under the jump zone, the area where the lowering device moves the bungee jumper to be landed away from the jump space and the area covered by the movement of the lowering device.

"Local building department" means the agency or agencies of the governing body of any city, county or town in this Commonwealth charged with the enforcement of the USBC.

"Operating manual" means the document that contains the procedures and forms for the operation of bungee jumping equipment and activity at a site.

"Passenger tramway" means a device used to transport passengers uphill, and suspended in the air by the use of steel cables, chains or belts, or ropes, and usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans.

"Platform" means the equipment attached to the structure from which the bungee jumper departs.

"Private inspector" means a person performing inspections who is independent of the company, individual or organization owning, operating or having any vested interest in an amusement device being inspected.

"Ultimate tensile strength" means the greatest amount of load applied to a bungee cord prior to failure.

"USBC" means the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63).

B. Words and terms used in this chapter which are defined in the USBC shall have the meaning ascribed to them in that regulation unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

C. Words and terms used in this chapter which are defined in the standards incorporated by reference in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in those standards unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

13VAC5-31-40

[ 13VAC5-31-40. Incorporated standards.

A. The following standards are hereby incorporated by reference for use as part of this chapter:

1. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard No. B77.1-2006 for the regulation of passenger tramways; and

2. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Nos. F698-94 (Reapproved 2000), F747-06, F770-06a, F846-92 (Reapproved 2003), F853-05, F893-05a, F1159-03a, F1193-06, F1305-94 (Reapproved 2002), F1950-99, F1957-99 (Reapproved 2004), F2007-06, F2137-04 (Reapproved 2009) F2137-09, F2291-06a F2291-09b, F2374-07a, F2376-06 and F2460-06 for the regulation of amusement devices.

The standards referenced above may be procured from:

 

ANSI
25 W 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

ASTM
100 Barr Harbor Dr.
West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959

B. The provisions of this chapter govern where they are in conflict with any provisions of the standards incorporated by reference in this chapter.

C. The following requirements supplement the provisions of the ASTM standards incorporated by reference in this chapter:

1. The operator of an amusement device shall be at least 16 years of age, except when the person is under the supervision of a parent or guardian and engaged in activities determined not to be hazardous by the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry;

2. The amusement device shall be attended by an operator at all times during operation except that (i) one operator is permitted to operate two or more amusement devices provided they are within the sight of the operator and operated by a common control panel or station and (ii) one operator is permitted to operate two kiddie rides with separate controls provided the distance between controls is no more than 35 feet and the controls are equipped with a positive pressure switch; and

3. The operator of an amusement device shall not be (i) under the influence of any drugs which may affect the operator's judgment or ability to assure the safety of the public or (ii) under the influence of alcohol.

D. Where an amusement device was manufactured under previous editions of the standards incorporated by reference in this chapter, the previous editions shall apply to the extent that they are different from the current standards. ]

13VAC5-31-50

13VAC5-31-50. Certification of amusement device inspectors.

A. Any person, including local building department personnel, inspecting an amusement device relative to a certificate of inspection shall possess a valid certificate of competence certification as an amusement device inspector from the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

B. Local building department personnel enforcing this chapter and private inspectors shall attend 16 hours every two years of continuing education and periodic maintenance training courses approved or required as designated by DHCD. Additional In addition to the periodic maintenance training required above, local building department personnel and private inspectors shall attend 16 hours of continuing education hours shall not be required if more than one every two years as approved by DHCD. If local building department personnel or private inspectors possess more than one BHCD certificate is held, the 16 hours shall satisfy the continuing education requirement for all BHCD certificates.

13VAC5-31-75

Part II
Enforcement, Permits and Certificates of Inspection

13VAC5-31-75. Local building department.

A. In accordance with §§ 36-98.3 and 36-105 of the Code of Virginia, the local building department shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and may charge fees for such enforcement activity. The total amount charged for any one permit to operate an amusement device or devices or the renewal of such permit shall not exceed the following, except that when a private inspector is used, the fees shall be reduced by 50%:

1. $25 for each kiddie ride covered by the permit;

2. $35 for each circular ride or flat-ride less than 20 feet in height covered by the permit;

3. $55 for each spectacular ride covered by the permit that cannot be inspected as a circular ride or flat-ride in subdivision 2 of this subsection due to complexity or height; and

4. $150 for each coaster covered by the permit that exceeds 30 feet in height.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, when an amusement device is constructed in whole or in part at a site for permanent operation at that site and is not intended to be disassembled and moved to another site, then the local building department may utilize permit and inspection fees established pursuant to the USBC to defray the cost of enforcement. This authorization does not apply to an amusement device that is only being reassembled, undergoing a major modification at a site or being moved to a site for operation.

C. A permit application shall be made to the local building department at least five days before the date in which the applicant intends to operate an amusement device. The application shall include the name of the owner, operator or other person assuming responsibility for the device or devices, a general description of the device or devices including any serial or identification numbers available, the location of the property on which the device or devices will be operated and the length of time of operation. The permit application shall indicate whether a private inspector will be utilized. If a private inspector is not utilized, the applicant shall give reasonable notice when an inspection is sought and may stipulate the day such inspection is requested provided it is during the normal operating hours of the local building department. In addition to the information required on the permit application, the applicant shall provide proof of liability insurance of an amount not less than $100,000 per person and $1,000,000 in the aggregate for each amusement device insuring the owner or operator against liability for injury suffered by persons riding the amusement device or by persons in, on, under or near the amusement device; per occurrence or proof of equivalent financial responsibility. The local building department shall be notified of any change in the liability insurance or financial responsibility during the period covered by the permit.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C of this section, a permit application is not required for a kiddie ride in which the passenger height is 54 inches or less, the design capacity is for 12 passengers or less and that can be assembled in two hours or less, provided the kiddie ride that has an unexpired certificate of inspection issued by any local building department in this Commonwealth. In such cases, the local building department shall be notified prior to the operation of the kiddie ride and the information required on a permit application as listed in subsection C of this section shall be provided to the local building department.

E. Local building department personnel shall examine the permit application within five days and issue the permit if all requirements are met. A certificate of inspection for each amusement device shall be issued when the device has been found to comply with this chapter by a private inspector or by an inspector from the local building department. It shall be the responsibility of the local building department to verify that the private inspector possesses a valid certificate of competence as an amusement device inspector from the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development. In addition, local building department personnel shall be responsible for assuring that the certificate of inspection is posted or affixed on or in the vicinity of the device in a location visible to the public. Permits shall indicate the length of time the device or devices will be operated at the site, clearly identify the device or devices to which it applies and the date of expiration of the permit. Permits shall not be valid for longer than one year.

F. In addition to obtaining a certificate of inspection in conjunction with a permit application for amusement devices permanently fixed to a site, a new certificate of inspection shall also be obtained prior to the operation of an amusement device following a major modification, prior to each seasonal operation of a device, at least once during the operating season and prior to resuming the operation of a device following an order from a local building department to cease operation. This requirement shall not apply to kiddie rides meeting the conditions outlined in subsection D of this section.

G. For amusement devices manufactured prior to 1978, the owner or operator shall have the information required by §§ 2.1 through 2.6 of ASTM F628 F698 available at the time of inspection. In addition, the operator of any amusement device shall be responsible for obtaining all manufacturer's notifications, service bulletins and safety alerts issued pursuant to ASTM F853 and the operator shall comply with all recommendations and requirements set out in those documents. A copy of all such documents shall be made available during an inspection.

H. In the enforcement of this chapter, local building department personnel shall have authority to conduct inspections at any time an amusement device would normally be open for operation or at any other time if permission is granted by the owner or operator, to issue an order to temporarily cease operation of an amusement device upon the determination that the device may be unsafe or may otherwise endanger the public and to accept and approve or deny requests for modifications of the rules of this chapter in accordance with the modification provisions of the USBC.

I. In accordance with subdivision 7 of § 36-137 of the Code of Virginia, the local building department shall collect a 2.0% levy of fees charged for permits under this chapter and transmit it quarterly to DHCD to support training programs of the Virginia Building Code Academy. Localities that maintain individual or regional training academies accredited by DHCD shall retain such levy. ]

13VAC5-31-85

 [ 13VAC5-31-85. Accidents involving serious injury or death.

A. If an accident involving the serious injury or death of a patron occurs, the operation of an amusement device shall cease and the local building department and DHCD shall be notified as soon as practicable, but in no case later than during the next working day. The operation of the device shall not resume until inspected by a private inspector or an inspector from the local building department, except where the owner or operator determines the cause was not related to malfunction or improper operation of the amusement device.

B. The owner or operator shall conduct an investigation of the accident including, at a minimum, an examination of the accident scene and interviews of any witnesses or persons involved in the accident. An accident investigation report shall be compiled which, at a minimum, shall contain a summary of the investigation and a description of the device involved, including its serial number and date of manufacture, if available. The report shall be submitted to the local building department within 24 hours of the accident except that if the local building department is closed during that period, then the report shall be submitted with four hours of the reopening of the department.

C. Local building department personnel are authorized to investigate the accident and to issue an order to cease operation when warranted and to specify the conditions under which the device may resume operation. The amusement device shall be inspected prior to resuming operation either by an inspector from the local building department or by a private inspector and found to comply with this chapter. ]

13VAC5-31-280

 [ Part IX
Accessibility Requirements for Amusement Devices

13VAC5-31-280. Scope.

This part shall apply to newly designed and constructed amusement devices for permanent installation and does not apply to amusement devices regularly assembled or disassembled. This part also does not apply to mobile, portable, or temporary amusement devices set up for short periods of time such as at traveling carnivals, state and county fairs, and festivals. For the purposes of this part, newly designed and constructed amusement devices are those that are new upon first use by patrons and the first permanent installation of the ride and would not include a ride that was moved within a park or to another park after several seasons of use.

13VAC5-31-290

13VAC5-31-290. Requirements.

Amusement devices subject to this part shall comply with applicable requirements of 36 CFR Part 1191 – Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines, 69 FR 44151-44455 (July 23, 2004). ]

13VAC5-31-9999

[ DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (13VAC5-31)

F 698 -- 94 (Reapproved 2000), Standard Specification for Physical Information to be Provided for Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 747 -- 06, Standard Terminology Relating to Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 770 -- 06a, Standard Practice for Ownership and Operation of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 846 -- 92 (Reapproved 2003), Standard Guide for Testing Performance of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken , PA 19428.

F 853 -- 05, Standard Practice for Maintenance Procedures for Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 893 -- 05a, Standard Guide for Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 1159 -- 03a, Standard Practice for Design and Manufacture of Patron Directed, Artificial Climbing Walls, Dry Slide, Coin Operated and Purposeful Water Immersion Amusement Rides and Devices and Air-Supported Structures, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 1193 -- 06, Standard Practice for Quality, Manufacture, and Construction of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken , PA 19428.

F 1305 -- 94 (Reapproved 2002), Standard Guide for Classification of Amusement Rides and Device Related Injuries and Illnesses, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 1950 -- 99, Standard Specification for Physical Information to be Transferred With Used Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 1957 -- 99 (Reapproved 2004), Standard Test Method for Composite Foam Hardness-Durometer Hardness, ASTM International, West Conshohocken , PA 19428.

F 2007 -- 06, Standard Practice for Classification, Design, Manufacture, and Operation of Concession Go-Karts and Facilities, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 2137 -- 04 09, Standard Practice for Measuring the Dynamic Characteristics of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 2291 -- 06a F 2291 -- 09b, Standard Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken , PA 19428.

F 2374 -- 07a, Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation, and Maintenance of Inflatable Amusement Devices, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 2376 -- 06, Standard Practice for Classification, Design, Manufacture, Construction, and Operation of Water Slide Systems, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

F 2460 -- 06, Standard Practice for Special Requirements for Bumper Boats, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.

B 77.1 -- 06, Passenger Ropeways – Aerial Tramways, Aerial Lifts, Surface Lifts, Tows and Conveyors – Safety Requirements, ANSI, New York, NY 10036. ]