Tennessee Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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

Includes waterslides, glasshouses and walk-through dark houses; dry slides > 20' high; motorized trams used as a ride (not transportation). Excludes wave pools, hay rides, go-karts, mechanical bulls and bungee cords, laser tag, climbing walls, animal rides.

Inspection Program: 

Rides must be inspected annually to ASTM standards by a certified 3rd party inspector hired by the owner/operator.

Investigative Authority: 

Accidents are investigated by a 3rd-party inspector hired by the owner/operator. The commissioner may conduct a spot inspection of any amusement device without notice at any time while the amusement device is operating or will be operating in this state.

Reporting Criteria: 

The owner/operator must report any accident involving a fatality, serious physical injury, or serious incident resulting from the operation of an amusement device to the commissioner, in writing, within twenty-four (24) hours.

Patron Responsibility Law: 

68-121-125. Safety rules governing rider -- Violations and penalties -- Duty to report injuries -- Display of rules.
(a) A rider on an amusement device shall, at a minimum:
(1) Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with subsection (g) and oral instructions for an amusement device issued by the amusement device's owner or the owner's employee or agent, unless:
(A) The safety rules are contrary to those issued by the board; or
(B) The oral instructions are contrary to the safety rules; and
(2) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
(A) Interfering with the safe operation of the amusement device;
(B) Not engaging any safety devices that are provided;
(C) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator;
(D) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course or direction of an amusement device;
(E) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the amusement device operator;
(F) Throwing, dropping or expelling an object from or toward an amusement device;
(G) Getting on or off an amusement device except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the amusement device operator, or in an emergency; and
(H) Unreasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider or an amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct the rider or a device.
(b) A rider of an amusement device shall not get on, enter, or attempt to get on an amusement device unless the rider reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider:
(1) Has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, enter, or get off the amusement device safely without instruction or has requested and received before getting on the amusement device sufficient information to get on, use, enter, or get off safely;
(2) Has located, reviewed and understood any signs in the vicinity of the amusement device and has satisfied any posted height, medical or other restrictions and abided by all rules, regulations and restrictions;
(3) Is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects the rider's ability to safely use the amusement device or obey the posted rules or oral instructions; and
(4) Is authorized by the amusement device owner or the owner's authorized servant, agent or employee to get on the amusement device.
(c) (1) It is an offense for any person to knowingly violate subsection (a) or (b).
(2) A violation of subdivision (c)(1) is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only.
(d) A rider, or the rider's parent or guardian on the rider's behalf, shall report in writing to the owner any injury sustained on an amusement device before leaving the owner's premises, including:
(1) The name, address, and phone number of the injured person;
(2) A full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received, and the location, date, and time of the injury;
(3) The cause of the injury, if known; and
(4) The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
(e) If the rider, or the rider's parent or guardian on a rider's behalf, is unable to file a report before leaving the owner's premises 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.
(f) The failure of a rider, or the rider's parent or guardian on a rider's behalf, to report an injury under this section shall have no effect on the rider's right to commence a civil action.
(g) Safety rules governing rider conduct must be prominently displayed at or near the entrance to, or loading platform for, the amusement device.

Date of last update: 
February 5, 2017