OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website athttp://www.osha.gov.


June 16, 2005

Mr. John Farmer #154743
PO Box 3300
Florence, AZ 85232-3300

Dear Mr. Farmer:

Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your correspondence has been forwarded to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) for response. In your correspondence, you request OSHA regulations pertaining to carnivals, amusement parks and water parks, as well as OSHA guidelines for conducting accident investigations and the number of accidents occurring at such facilities in the last three years.

For future reference, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is not necessary for material of the nature that you have requested. Submitting a formal FOIA request is only necessary to obtain specific agency records that are not publicly available. The information that you have requested is publicly available and, therefore, a FOIA request is not necessary.

With regard to OSHA regulations of carnivals, amusement parks, and water parks, OSHA's general industry standards would apply to occupational safety and health for employees working at these facilities. However, the Agency does not regulate the public visiting these facilities, nor do we track their accidents. Such facilities are generally state-regulated, and the applicable regulations vary by state. While authority under each individual state's legislation differs, the main purpose is the prevention of ride incidents through the early identification of unsafe and defective rides.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC's) Office of Compliance, Division of Recalls and Compliance, does play a limited part in amusement ride regulation. The Commission's jurisdiction over amusement rides is limited to those that are not permanently fixed to a site, i.e., those rides transported from location to location; however, the CPSC does serve as a clearinghouse for safety information on ride incidents identified by Commission investigators and state and local ride officials. Records of amusement park related deaths and injuries are also compiled by CPSC. You can contact the CPSC at:

 

 

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Compliance, Division of Recalls and Compliance
Washington, D.C. 20207-0001
http://www.cpsc.gov/
Phone: (301)504-7594


For your reference, I have enclosed two CPSC publications that you may find helpful. As previously noted, amusement parks are regulated primarily by the state in which they are located, so I have enclosed the Directory of North American Amusement Ride Safety Officials. In response to your inquiry, I have also included Amusement Ride-Related Injuries and Deaths in the United States: 1978-2000(the most recent years for which data is available). Both of these publications are available on the CPSC website.

In response to your request for OSHA's guidelines for conducting accident investigations, I have also enclosed a copy of
CPL 02-00-137, Fatality/Catastrophe Investigation Procedures. A catastrophe is defined as a work-related incident involving the hospitalization of three or more persons. This directive constitutes the Agency's internal guidance as to how compliance officers should conduct the investigation of such incidents. However, please keep in mind that there procedures are only when employees are injured in a work-related accident.

I hope that this information is of use to you. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health, and gook luck in finding the additional information that you are looking for.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs


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