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Amusement Park Safety Checklist for Operators

Amusement Park Safety Checklist for Operators

Amusement parks captivate visitors with the excitement of roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and interactive experiences. Yet, the thrills of attractions are underpinned by the need for safety. Ensuring the safety of guests, staff, and facilities is both a regulatory mandate and the cornerstone upon which the amusement park experience is built. Read on to learn more about putting safety first and keeping your business booming.

Key takeaways

  • Train staff thoroughly on safety procedures and emergency response
  • Comply with industry standards during design, construction, and operations
  • Conduct frequent inspections and audits to identify hazards early
  • Foster a safety culture through leadership, staff, and guest engagement

Understanding amusement park safety

For amusement parks, safety extends far beyond ensuring guests keep their hands and feet inside the ride. It's about constructing a foundation for every plunge, drop, and moment of joy. Understanding the pillars of amusement park safety—guest safety, employee safety, and equipment safety—is crucial. Each element plays a critical role in safeguarding your visitors and staff and the longevity and success of your business.

  • Guest safety: Your park's reputation starts and ends with your guests' experience. Implementing rigorous safety measures, from comprehensive signage and well-trained staff to safety briefings for guests, is crucial.
  • Employee safety: The backbone of your amusement park is your staff. Ensuring they operate in a safe environment means they can focus on delivering exceptional service. This includes regular training, access to the necessary safety gear, and clear communication channels. Happy, safe employees contribute to a positive atmosphere and enhanced guest experiences.
  • Equipment safety: The thrill of your attractions relies on their flawless operation. Regular maintenance, adherence to industry standards, and proactive upgrades are essential to prevent accidents and ensure that your equipment is as ready for fun as your guests are.

Have a look at our amusement park safety checklist below.

1. Train staff for emergency preparedness

Creating a welcoming and safe atmosphere in an amusement park starts with your staff. They're not just employees; they're the guardians of joy and safety. By investing in thorough training programs and emergency preparedness, you empower your team to handle anything that comes their way with confidence and care.

  • Safety procedure and emergency response training: It's essential to equip all staff, particularly ride operators, with thorough training in safety procedures and emergency responses. This training should cover the specific actions to take in various emergencies, ensuring staff are well-prepared to protect guests and themselves.
  • Regular emergency drills and first aid training: Conducting routine drills and providing first aid training are important for preparing staff for any situation. These drills and refreshers help reinforce the knowledge and skills needed for effective emergency response.

2. Are your park’s designs and construction in full compliance?

Ensuring the design and construction of an amusement park are in compliance with industry and local standards is crucial for safety, accessibility, and inclusivity. Each component contributes to creating a safe, accessible, and welcoming environment for all amusement park visitors, aligning with best practices for design and operation.

Adherence to standards

Ensuring that the amusement park's design and construction comply with safety codes, environmental impact assessments, and zoning laws can prevent future legal and operational issues. Make sure to keep up with legislative changes that could impact your park.


Developing wheelchair-accessible paths and facilities is essential. This means ramps, wide walkways, accessible restrooms, and modified ride access points to ensure everyone can easily navigate and enjoy the park.


Incorporating sensory-friendly zones is vital for accommodating guests with diverse needs, such as those with autism, sensory processing disorders, or other disabilities. These areas should offer a quieter, more controlled environment to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for guests who might be overwhelmed by the usual park stimuli.

3. Maintain clear signage and communication

Ensuring guest safety and communicating safety information are paramount in amusement park operations. These strategies are integral to maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment for all guests, emphasizing the park's commitment to safety and clear communication.

  • Clear signage and instructions: Clearly visible and understandable signage and instructions for all rides and attractions are essential. They guide guests safely and ensure they are well-informed about how to enjoy the attractions properly.
  • Height and age restrictions: Strictly enforcing height and age restrictions for certain attractions is crucial. This policy is designed to protect younger guests by ensuring the experiences are appropriate and safe for their age group, preventing potential injuries, and enhancing overall park safety.
  • Utilizing universal design: These principles for signage ensure that all guests, regardless of language, age, or ability, can understand directions, rules, and information. Signs should include clear visuals, Braille where necessary, and simple language to guide visitors effectively throughout the park.

4. Conduct regular safety inspections and audits

By focusing on routine inspections and audits, you can enhance guest confidence, minimize risks, and uphold your park’s reputation as a safe, enjoyable destination. Maintain the highest safety and compliance standards through a structured approach:

Routine inspections

Implement a schedule that includes daily visual checks and minor maintenance, weekly detailed examinations, and monthly comprehensive reviews of safety mechanisms, structural integrity, and wear and tear. This proactive approach helps identify potential issues early, ensuring rides and equipment operate safely and efficiently.

Annual safety audits

Conduct annual audits with external agencies to receive unbiased feedback on your park’s adherence to safety standards. These audits are crucial for identifying areas of improvement and ensuring compliance with the latest safety regulations.

Clear procedures for issues

If a safety issue arises—such as a strange noise on a ride or a recurring problem brought up by staff—have a clear plan of action in place. Promptly shut down the ride or cordon off the area until all issues have been addressed. 

5. Incident management and reporting

Effective incident management and accurate reporting are crucial for maintaining a safe amusement park environment. This involves:

  • Developing detailed procedures: Crafting and adhering to comprehensive protocols for responding to accidents and incidents ensures a structured and effective response.
  • Accurate documentation and compliance: Keeping meticulous records and meeting regulatory reporting obligations are essential. This not only aids in incident analysis but also ensures compliance with legal standards, contributing to ongoing safety improvements and accountability.
  • Consider waivers: Waivers can be used to mitigate risk and liability for attractions. To simplify the waiver-collection process, they can be collected digitally through software like ROLLER when guests make a booking. As with anything legal, it's crucial to consult your legal team about whether waivers are suitable for your venue. 

6. Effectively manage visitor capacity

By focusing on visitor capacity management, amusement park owners can ensure a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone. Here's how to achieve this:

Real-time monitoring

Use technology to track visitor numbers in real-time. This allows for immediate adjustments to prevent overcrowding and maintain a comfortable environment throughout the park. Make sure staff are prepared to handle bottlenecks or overcrowding. Real-time capacity management is seamless when you use a cloud-based software provider

Capacity control systems

Implement advanced systems or strategies to regulate the flow of guests. This might include timed entry tickets with session times, reservation systems, or specific attraction quotas to evenly distribute visitors and avoid congestion.

Guest experience optimization

Use data from capacity management tools to improve the overall guest experience. Analyze patterns to predict peak times and plan events or promotions accordingly, ensuring guests have a pleasant visit with minimal wait times and maximum enjoyment. You can use ROLLER to automate guest experience surveys after a visitor has left to discover insights and areas of improvement. 

7. Have a bad weather safety plan

Establishing comprehensive weather and environmental safety protocols can minimize risks and ensure the well-being of all visitors and personnel. Here's how to manage weather-related safety effectively:

Emergency protocols

Develop detailed emergency response plans tailored to various weather scenarios, such as lightning, high winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures. These protocols should outline specific actions to protect guests and staff, including ride shutdowns, sheltering procedures, and evacuation routes.

Weather monitoring systems

Invest in advanced weather monitoring tools and services to receive real-time updates and warnings. This enables proactive decision-making and timely implementation of emergency protocols.

Staff and guest communication

Train staff extensively on weather emergency procedures to ensure a coordinated and efficient response. Keep guests informed about potential weather issues and safety instructions through announcements, signage, and digital platforms.

8. Keep health and sanitation top of mind

Adopting these health and sanitation measures demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a clean, safe environment, essential for ensuring guest confidence and comfort during their visit to the amusement park. Here's a strategic approach to health and sanitation:

Sanitation stations

Expand the availability of sanitation stations strategically throughout the park, particularly in high-traffic areas such as food courts, restrooms, and near ride entrances. This ensures guests and staff have easy access to hand sanitizing facilities, promoting regular use.

Continuous sanitation efforts

Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting efforts across all park areas, with special attention to high-touch surfaces like ride harnesses, dining tables, and door handles. Use signage to inform guests about the sanitation practices in place, reinforcing the commitment to their health and safety.

Enhanced trash management

Implement comprehensive trash collection and recycling programs to keep the park clean and minimize environmental impact. Place trash and recycling bins throughout the park, especially where guests consume food and beverages. Regularly empty bins to prevent overflow and maintain a pleasant environment for guests.

Remove physical menus 

Print-out and laminated menus in dining areas have a tendency to get covered in food and are handled by hundreds of people throughout the day. You can reduce reliance on them and streamline orders by opting for mobile food and beverage technology – allowing guests to order on their phones.

Enhancing safety through technology

Technology plays a pivotal role in elevating safety in amusement parks. By integrating innovative solutions, amusement park owners can enhance operational efficiency and improve safety measures, ensuring a seamless and secure guest experience. Here's how technology is reshaping safety protocols:

Wearable tech for guests and staff

Implement wearable technology, such as RFID wristbands, to monitor guest movements and manage crowd density in real-time. These devices can also serve as a contactless payment solution, reducing queues and improving the guest experience.

Real-time monitoring systems

Install advanced surveillance systems to monitor park areas and attractions, identifying potential safety hazards or overcrowding. Use sensor-based technology to track weather conditions and equipment performance, ensuring proactive maintenance and immediate response to anomalies.

Use customer feedback and incident data

Leverage online platforms and mobile apps to gather customer feedback on safety and overall park experience. This direct line of communication allows for continuous improvement and addresses concerns promptly.

Implement a data analysis system to review incident reports and feedback, identifying patterns or areas for safety enhancements. This data-driven approach enables targeted adjustments to operations, staff training, and safety protocols.

Digital signage and information systems

Deploy digital signage throughout the park to provide real-time information on ride wait times, safety notices, and emergency instructions. This dynamic communication tool can adapt to changing conditions, ensuring guests are always well-informed.

Building a safety-first culture

Building a safety-first culture is an ongoing journey that requires commitment, creativity, and collaboration. By prioritizing safety at every level and involving both staff and guests in these efforts, amusement park owners can create an environment where fun and safety go hand in hand, ensuring that every visit to the park is a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Here’s how leadership and strategic engagement can cultivate a safety-first ethos:

Leadership's role in safety culture

Leadership must visibly and consistently demonstrate a commitment to safety, setting clear expectations that safety is non-negotiable. This can be achieved through regular communication on safety goals, personal involvement in safety training sessions, and public recognition of safe practices.

Engaging staff in safety practices

Encourage staff to take personal ownership of safety, empowering them to act when they identify potential hazards or unsafe behaviors. Foster an environment where staff feel comfortable reporting safety concerns without fear of retribution. This can be facilitated through anonymous reporting systems or regular safety meetings where employees can voice concerns and suggest improvements.

Involving guests in safety efforts

Educate guests on the importance of safety with interactive digital content, safety briefings at the start of their visit, and visible signage throughout the park.

Encourage guest feedback on safety and incorporate their suggestions into your safety protocols. This improves safety measures and enhances guest satisfaction by making them feel valued and heard.

Continuous improvement and learning

Adopt a mindset of continuous improvement, regularly reviewing safety protocols, incident data, and industry best practices to identify areas for enhancement. Facilitate ongoing learning opportunities for staff, including workshops, seminars, and cross-training, to keep them informed and engaged with the latest safety procedures and technologies.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about amusement park safety

How do amusement park owners ensure the safety of attractions and guests?

Amusement park owners prioritize safety by sticking to rigorous design and construction standards and conducting regular maintenance and inspections. They also rely on certified attractions, clear signage, and well-trained staff to guide guests safely, ensuring a comprehensive safety environment that minimizes risks and enhances guest confidence.

What role does technology play in enhancing amusement park safety?

Technology enhances amusement park safety through wearable devices for crowd management, real-time hazard detection monitoring systems, and digital feedback and analysis platforms. It supports continuous safety improvements and effective communication, providing guests and staff with up-to-date safety information and ensuring a secure environment.

How can amusement parks build a safety-first culture?

A safety-first culture in amusement parks is built by leadership demonstrating a clear commitment to safety, integrating it into all aspects of operations. Regular, thorough training for staff, open dialogue about safety concerns, and involving guests in safety efforts foster a community where safety is everyone's responsibility. Continuous learning and embracing new safety innovations ensure the culture remains dynamic and effective.

Keeping safety top of mind going forward

Following safety measures is essential for any amusement park to protect guests, employees, and the business. By making safety a top priority across all areas of operation, from infrastructure and equipment to protocols and culture, park owners can create an environment where both thrills and safety thrive. With diligent leadership, training, and safety practices guided by industry regulations and innovations, amusement parks can craft a memorable and safe experience for all.

Contact ROLLER to discover how technology can improve efficiency and safety at your amusement park.