Tennessee Department Of Labor Outlines Safety Requirements For Zip Line Operations

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Lee Bentley
Lee Bentley

Sailing through forests at lightning speed is gaining popularity with thrill-seekers as zip lining becomes more and more common in Tennessee, and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development aims to ensure the experience is safe for riders.

In October 2012 the TN Department of Labor established policies for zip line installation and operation, consistent with ACCT (Association for Challenge Course Technology) standards to inspect zip lines beginning in January 2013. All commercial zip line operators are required to inform the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development when they set up their businesses so they can be inspected and be granted a permit issued by the department.

“We inspect zip lines a minimum of once a year, the same frequency as we inspect amusement rides. We make sure operators have a certificate of insurance and all the paperwork to back up their daily inspections – showing that the operators inspected harnesses and platforms and other apparatus before riders used the equipment. They must also show they have met the requirement to have an annual ACCT-certified person inspect and re-certify their whole zip line system, making sure it follows industry standards,” said Lee Bentley, Amusement Device inspector manager. Before coming to the department, Mr. Bentley was the technical supervisor at Universal Studios in Orlando for 17 years where he set up Jurassic Park. He also worked for Dollywood in Sevierville for several years.

Mr. Bentley said if a zip line is found to be unsafe, it is red-tagged the same as any amusement ride, meaning it cannot be operated and the tag cannot be removed until he or someone from his division has re-inspected it. He helps the zip line businesses he inspects get up to speed and meet specifications before they re-open. He said sometimes they do not know about ACCT, so he educates them on how that association can guide them in making their operations safe.

ACCT has a book that deals with specifics such as how to attach to a tree, how to put on a cable, how to position a platform onto a tree, and how to make sure anchors are able to support weight loads. ACCT will even provide recommended vendors to set up the zip line operation.

 

Because of the increasing prevalence of commercial zip lines, the department has recently hired a second person to help inspect these amusement devices. Those interested in starting a zip line company or would like to have their existing zip line business inspected should call the Regulations and Compliance Division of the TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development at (615)741-2858.



Survivorship Empowerment Class For Cancer Survivors Set For Oct. 24

CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Institute will host a Survivorship Empowerment class on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m.  The free class is open to all cancer survivors, regardless of where they received treatment, and their caregivers.   "People often wonder what they can do to get and stay healthy once cancer treatment is complete.  Lifestyle changes, like eating ... (click for more)

Hospice Of Chattanooga Holds Blessing Of Pets Service Nov. 4

There will be a Blessing of the Pets service in the outdoor area just outside of the Hospice of Chattanooga Bereavement Center, just off Highway 58 at 4411 Oakwood Dr., on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. "Animals and people of all ages are welcome.  Please bring your friends and family.  There will be a blessing for the animals, prayers, information about Hospice of Chattanooga's ... (click for more)

State Comptroller Says More Control Over Spending Needed At CVB

The state Comptroller’s Office is recommending the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) board of directors take steps to adopt detailed policies concerning how the CVB spends its money.   The Comptroller’s Office has completed a review of Hamilton County’s hotel/motel taxes which are all forwarded to the CVB. The annual report is required by Public Chapter ... (click for more)

County Commission Votes 7-2 For Rezoning For C&D Landfill At Harrison

The County Commission on Wednesday voted 7-2 to approve rezoning for a Construction and Debris landfill at Harrison.  Voting in favor were Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Sabrena Smedley, Greg Martin, Tim Boyd, Randy Fairbanks and Jim Fields.   Opposed were Chester Bankston and Joe Graham.  Commissioner Boyd said it was just the first step in permitting for ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)