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.


Chattanooga Room In The Inn Gets A New Kitchen And New Look

Chattanooga Room in the Inn, a residential facility for homeless women and children, is chosen as a beneficiary in Karndean Designflooring’s 40 Good Floors for 40 Good Causes Campaign.  Rhonda Gay with Chattanooga Flooring Center nominated the non-profit agency.  At the same time, the Women’s Group of Christ United Methodist Church, under the direction of interior designer, ... (click for more)

12th Annual Minority Health Fair Is Aug. 16

In August 2002, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. partnered with the 28th Community Development Corporation to focus on men’s health issues by providing a free health fair – Hamilton County Minority Health Fair. The primary focus was geared toward prostate exams, blood pressure and other educational services for men. In 2004, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

In a ruling Friday, a Federal Court Judge in Rome agreed with Hutcheson Medical Center and Regions Bank to grant the request for an injunction, effectively stopping the foreclosure efforts of Erlanger Health System against Hutcheson. In stopping the foreclosure set for next Tuesday, the judge held that the public interest in keeping the hospital doors open was “insurmountable.”  ... (click for more)

Mediated Resolution Reached In TVA Kingston Lawsuits

A mediated global resolution has been achieved in 63 lawsuits pending in U.S. District Court involving more than 850 plaintiffs asserting claims against the Tennessee Valley Authority arising from the 2008 ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant. The resolution, outlined in documents submitted Friday to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, comes after nearly two years of ... (click for more)

A Tennessee Transplant's Thoughts On Age And Politics - And Response

I have read several opinions favoring the job performance of Representative Fleischmann as well the apparent disdain that they have for his challenger and his age.  I must disclose that unfortunately, I am unable to cast a vote in the 3rd District Republican primary.  I will however always be a Chattanoogan.  As a result, I feel more engaged in East Tennessee politics ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Trump, Stand Down!

I’ve never been a big fan of Donald Trump. Of his worldy possessions, I believe the only things bigger than his $4 billion bank account are his arrogance and his ego but what he did Friday was shameful. Here we have two Americans in Africa on a mercy mission who have been stricken with the ebola virus and as emergency efforts are in progress to bring them home, Trump -- in his usual ... (click for more)