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Bungee Jumping – Advice for regulators

Summary

This Operational Guidance is aimed at Local Authority Environmental Health Officers who have responsibility for enforcing the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and associated regulations at bungee jumping operations.  It provides guidance on what steps should be taken by operators to manage the risks to the health and safety of their employees and members of the public who may be affected by their activities.

It outlines some actions which may go beyond the minimum required to comply with health and safety law, but which the industry agree are key to ensuring the safety of staff, jumpers and spectators.  It does not provide detailed technical information on setting up and managing bungee jump operations.

Introduction

Bungee operators have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that their employees, bungee jumpers and others affected, are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

A fatal accident occurred in the UK in 2002.  Since then there has been no significant history of recorded accidents in the UK however, the nature of the activity means that the potential consequences of a failure of equipment or human or procedural error during the jump will have serious consequences for the jumper and potentially others.

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) conducted a technical review of HSE’s existing guidance for Local Authorities, LAC 47/2, on behalf of HSE, following the 2002 fatality.  This revised operational guidance incorporates the key findings of that review. The HSL report “A Technical Review of Local Authority Guidance (LAC 47/2) on Bungee Jumping”, is available on the HELA extranet (for Local Authority Enforcement Officers).

Attention is drawn to the new recommendation to use full body harnesses, sit harnesses with chest attachments, or custom built harnesses in preference to sit harnesses alone. Please consult HSE Entertainments & Leisure Sector if you are considering enforcement action on this issue.

Action

Local Authority Environmental Health Officers should familiarise themselves with this guidance before inspecting or investigating a bungee jump operation and refer to this guidance when assessing the adequacy of risk control measures.  Appendix 1 gives further detail and background information.

Contacts

OPSTD, Local Authority Unit, Entertainment, Leisure, Commercial and Consumer Services Sector

Appendices

Updated 2015-11-26