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.



CHI Memorial Hospital Hixson Health Expo Set For April 30

CHI Memorial Hospital Hixson will host a Health Expo on Monday, April 30 from 4-7 p.m.  The community is invited to join them for a variety of health education, screenings and demonstrations.   Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the da Vinci Surgical System, the same robotic-assisted surgery technology their surgeons use.  "Sit ... (click for more)

Health Department Announces Annual Low Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department encourages all pet owners to get their animals vaccinated against rabies.  This year’s low-cost rabies clinics will be available at almost 60 locations around Hamilton County from April 20-28.  The price is $12 per pet.  Rabies vaccinations are required by law for all dogs and cats.   “Vaccinating our pets ... (click for more)

Federal Lawsuit Dismissed In Officer-Involved Shooting Of Javario Eagle

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice has dismissed the lawsuit filed in the officer-involved shooting death of Javario Eagle on Dec. 12, 2015. Attorney Jamie Parks Varnell of the firm of Davis and Hoss said, " Judge Mattice found the five Chattanooga Police Department officers’ use of deadly force to be reasonable in this case. "The jury trial was set for May 8 and was scheduled ... (click for more)

$10,000 Reward Offered For Unsolved Murder Of Janet Newman In 1984

An anonymous donor is contributing $10,000 to the reward fund in the unsolved case of Janet Newman.  Someone killed Ms. Newman 11 days before Christmas in 1984 as she worked alone inside Cannon Towel and Linen on Brainerd Road. When Ms. Newman’s boss returned from running errands in the middle of the afternoon of  Friday, December 14 , he found Ms. Newman’s ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Teacher's Pay Cut

The Hamilton County School Board will hold a “working session” Thursday afternoon as steps continue to formulate the FY2019 budget and it is a frightening process in a badly-broken system. Everybody knows it is equally embarrassing and after watching teachers who “have had enough” go on strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky this spring, I guarantee you that Tennessee is ... (click for more)