Between 2012 and 2017, almost 500 children and teenagers were injured at trampoline centres across Australia, with injuries ranging from soft tissue injuries and sprains, to spinal cord damage.
Identifying the risks
As with any physical activity, the use of trampoline equipment carries a risk of injury, however, there are a number of controls that Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) can implement to significantly reduce the risks.
PCBUs must ensure they have identified and eliminated, as far as is practicable, potential risks of injury by conducting a risk assessment on the layout and design of the building, fittings and equipment. PCBUs are required to maintain a risk register that identifies all risks and details what control measures have been put in place to manage the risk.
Each day, before patrons are admitted to the centre, a competent staff member should conduct a routine inspection to ensure:
- the layout of equipment is safe and complies with manufacturer’s instructions and specifications
- the area is clear of trip and slip hazards
- trampoline framework is stable and secure
- all equipment is well maintained and safe to use
- all safety features including padding, netting, matting, etc. is correctly fitted and well maintained
- matting does not appear worn or compressed
- foam pits are adequately edge padded and filled to the top of the pit
- access and egress is clear of obstructions
- exit pathways are clearly displayed
- fire doors are functioning correctly
- safety signage is clearly displayed in appropriate locations
- emergency procedures are clearly displayed and documented
- emergency management and incident reporting procedures are in place, documented and all staff are appropriately trained
- a first aid kit is available on site and appropriately stocked
- at least one staff member is trained in first aid and on site
- fire extinguishers are tested and maintained
- staff are trained in the use of fire extinguishers
- access to unsupervised equipment is restricted.
Controlling the risks
The most common cause of injury at trampoline centres is contact with hard surfaces, however PCBUs can reduce the risk of contact injury by:
- installing and maintaining impact absorbing materials on dismount surfaces, including: pad cover, frame padding, cover attachments, tie downs and pad seams
- installing and maintaining impact absorbing materials on walls, barriers, fences, gates, handrails, queue lines, seating, obstructions and platforms
- ensuring appropriate barrier mesh/netting is installed and maintained
- ensuring obstructions, including roofing or sprinkler systems, signage and lighting, are not located within the trampoline clearance area.
Other risk mitigation controls include:
- limiting usage to one jumper per trampoline
- limiting the number of patrons in the assembly area
- providing adequate supervision by competent staff
- educating patrons on safe usage of all equipment
- limiting usage for patrons with pre-existing medical conditions
- undertaking regular inspections and maintenance of equipment.
Australian Standard AS 3533.2 2009 Amusement rides and devices - Operation and maintenance
Code of Practice Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Structural or Major Modification of Trampoline Parks
Australian Standard AS 2282.3 Methods for testing flexible polyurethane – Determination of apparent density
Australian Standard AS 2282.8 Methods for testing flexible polyurethane – Determination of force deflection
ISO 6487 Measurement Techniques in Impact Tests