Iowa Workforce Development

Workforce Development
Unless otherwise indicated, "devices covered" includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered: 

Includes inflatables; bungees; water rides (i.e., flume rides and others that have a source other than gravity that propels patrons); climbing wall utilizing an auto-belay system; dry slides; mechanical bulls; zip lines that do not allow the rider to touch the ground at all times.
Excludes waterslides and other water attractions regulated as swimming pools by IA dept. of public health; amusement structures in which the patrons navigate on their own power and the patrons do not ride, climb or walk on a mechanical component; zip line or climbing wall located at a camp or retreat owned and operated by a nonprofit religious, educational or charitable institution/association.

Inspection Program: 

Rides/devices are inspected by state officials annually prior to operation and after a major modification. Inflatable companies may apply to self-inspect if they only operate inflatables, have a training certificate from a 3rd party provider, and have a history of safe operation in Iowa. The state may waive the inspection if an operator gives satisfactory proof that the device has passed an inspection conducted by a public or private agency whose inspection standards and requirements are at least equal to those established by IA.

Investigative Authority: 

The commissioner, after consultation with the operator and determination, may require that the scene of a serious accident be secured and not disturbed to any greater extent than necessary for removal of the deceased or injured persons. If a ride is removed from service by the commissioner, the commissioner shall order an immediate investigation and the ride or device shall be released for repair and operation only after complete investigation.

Reporting Criteria: 

An operator shall report in writing to the commissioner an accident resulting in injury to any person within 48 hours after occurrence of the incident. The operator shall immediately report by telephone any major breakdown or any accident in which a fatality occurs or a person suffers a fracture, concussion, laceration or other traumatic injury requiring immediate surgical or medical care.

Patron Responsibility Law: 

88A.15 Rider safety
1. A rider or the rider's parent or guardian shall report in writing to the operator or the operator's designee, on forms provided by the operator or the operator's designee, any injury sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the operator's premises. The report shall include all of the following information:
a. The name, address, and phone number of the injured person.
b. A brief description of the incident, the injury claimed, and the location, date, and time of the injury.
c. The cause of the injury, if known.
d. The name, address, and phone number of any witness to the incident.
2. If the rider or the rider's parent or guardian is unable to file a report because of the severity of the rider's injuries, the rider or the rider's parent or guardian shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider or the rider's parent or guardian to report an injury under this section does not affect the rider's right to commence a civil action related to the incident.

3. A rider shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
a. Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this chapter and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the operator or the operator's employee or agent, unless the safety rules or oral instructions are contrary to the safety rules of this chapter.
b. Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including all of the following:
(1) Exceeding the limits of the rider's ability.
(2) Interfering with safety devices that are provided.
(3) Failing to engage safety devices that are provided.
(4) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator.
(5) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride.
(6) Using the controls of an amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the operator.
(7) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the operator.
(8) Throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride except as permitted by the operator.
(9) Getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the operator or in an emergency.
(10) Not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider's person or an amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct the rider's person or a device.

4. A rider shall not get on or attempt to get on an amusement ride unless the rider or the rider's parent or guardian reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider meets all of the following criteria:
a. Has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, and get off the amusement ride safely without instruction or has requested and received sufficient information to get on, use, and get off the amusement ride safely prior to getting on the amusement ride.
b. Has located, read, and understood any signs in the vicinity of the amusement ride and meets any posted height, medical, or other requirements.
c. Knows the range and limits of the rider's ability and knows the requirements of the amusement ride will not exceed those limits.
d. Is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects the rider's ability to safely use the amusement ride or obey the posted rules or oral instructions.
e. Is authorized by the operator or the operator's employee, agent, or servant to get on the amusement ride."

Special Conditions: 

Waterslides are regulated by the Iowa Dept. of Public Health.

Date of last update: 
April 8, 2017