Flesh Eating Bacteria !!! (and Other Zipline Safety Questions Answered) – Zipline Safety Regulations

Phil True
August 22, 2022

Flesh Eating Bacteria !!! (And Other Zipline Safety Questions Answered) – Zip Line Safety Regulations | Refreshing Mountain

Are Ziplines Safe?

Safety is often a concern among many who want to try ziplining. The term “safe” is often a term we associate with a guarantee from any risk. Let’s be honest, though, if the risk was removed from everything, we wouldn’t want to do anything; it would be boring. Nonetheless, we desire to manage risk in a way that provides a predictable environment without removing the thrill we are seeking.

Given this, ziplining is an outdoor adventure with inherent risks, and as professionals, we take your safety seriously. Whether it is the integrity of the mechanisms or protection from any bacteria, we’ve done our part and inspected our equipment for an enjoyable experience.

Ziplining is a fast-moving activity and one that can be exhilarating to the senses. Many have tried it and enjoyed their ride. We guarantee we wouldn’t be offering our zipline tours if we knew it wasn’t an experience everyone can enjoy without fear (well, other than the fear of heights, maybe!).

Zipline Safety Regulations and Precautions

To put your minds at ease, let’s talk about the flesh-eating bacteria incident (not in any way connected to our course, but it’s in the news). The issue occurred on a homemade zipline. One of the users splashed into the nearby water, and it got into an open wound. Unfortunately, the water contained rare bacteria.

We can assure you that their experience had nothing to do with the zipline or how many miles per hour they were going. It is a sad story, but it doesn’t really reflect on ziplining specifically.  

Every piece of our experience has been through thorough testing from professionals to ensure you do not fall into the water during our Canopy Tour. If you’re not convinced, here are some other safety facts:

  • There’s less than a 0.0001% chance of anyone getting into a zipline accident.
  • Local and state agencies supervise zipline safety, including the Department of Agriculture- Amusement Park division.
  • Each zipline course needs to comply with safety standards and weight limits set by the government.
  • ACCT- Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT)- sets the standard of the American National Standards Institute for challenge courses. As a member, we hold to and try our best to exceed these standards.
  • Once a year, we receive review and approval from the State Department of Agriculture.
  • Once a year, we receive review and approval from a third-party certified challenge course inspector.
  • Once a month, our head of maintenance performs a full detailed inspection of all our equipment, from bolts to harnesses and helmets to ropes.
  • Once a week, our trained maintenance reviews and inspects elements of the adventure courses
  • Every day our trained staff review and perform preliminary checks on all our courses prior to being used. We call this the “run-through”.
  • Zipline operators and businesses like ours always look into the specifics of the tour. We check everything from materials to weather, paying close attention to the various variables relevant to the safety of our visitors.
  • We check and perform routine maintenance of our zipline components daily.
  • Our experienced guides undergo rigorous training to mitigate the risks of operating the ziplines.
  • As mentioned, many of these details revolve around the safety equipment used on the courses, from helmets to harnesses, zip trolleys to guy wires (fun fact: a common misnomer, guy wires origin is from a French term “guie” meaning guide or to guide), and more.

Every time you go onto the zipline, know there have been many efforts towards protecting your experience- including many hours of training.  Our dedicated tour guides are there to help you get the most out of your zipline experience. They’ll closely monitor you and dedicate time to maximize your experience.

About Our Course

Our course was built by Climb Works, which partnered with structural engineers and professional arborists during construction. They worked to ensure that the path for the ziplines is clear and that the trees we employ are in their best condition. Our course construction uses a combination of telephone poles and mature trees.

We have a professionally designed and mastered zip structure. You won’t even have to use a hand brake.  Rather, we have employed special brakes designed for our course that our staff control when you approach each zip platform. Before we open each day, our team tests the tours before anyone else rides them for the day.

Our team also adheres to monthly inspections by ASTM Standards, Pennsylvania Amusement Park certified inspector(s), and ACCT Standards inspectors. They check each cable and bolt to make sure they are secure. Once everything has been thoroughly examined, they permit us to continue operating.

Modern Zipline Safety Standards

Since everything is built and maintained with safety in mind, our other responsibility is to ensure we’re effective in providing a great experience. Regularly, our staff go through ongoing training with basic safety techniques. We even hold rescue training and extensive courses to master our craft. Occasionally, we relax with an ice cream party!

The ACCT states that the chance of the zipline breaking is one in a billion. Nevertheless, remember that our biggest concern is your safety. We’re the ones that are responsible to hook you up correctly to the ziplines.

 Here are some other modern zipline safety standards we employ:

  • Inspection, maintenance, and operations undergo strict guidance backed by law.
  • Additional safety requirements are necessary to protect children.
  • We cannot run our zipline tour without adequate staff for protection.
  • Each part of the zipline is tested, from the rope to its attachments.
  • Training for recreation using ropes is a requirement.

Zipline courses are safe for kids with the proper construction, equipment, and training. Of course, there is always an inherent risk with any adrenaline-seeking activity. As long as everyone follows the safety guidelines, you can rest easy knowing you and your kids are in good hands.

Our Guests’ Responsibilities

In addition to all of the work that we put into mitigating the risks of ziplining, there are important things that our guests are responsible for as well.  You can work with us to even further enhance the safety of the experience by doing the following:

  1. Pay Attention.  Our guides will give you detailed instructions as you enjoy the ziplines.  Make sure to follow their directions.  If you don’t understand what they explained, make sure to ask a follow-up question, so you have a clear understanding of what was said.
  2. Speak Up.  If something is confusing or doesn’t look right, or you are concerned about something, say something.  Our guides love to answer questions and clarify details so that you have a good understanding of how things are working and you can have confidence that the equipment is being used properly.  
  3. Be Responsible.  The risk of a careless mistake happening is significantly increased when people aren’t staying calm and paying attention.  Our guides are trained to shut down a tour if the guests are not exhibiting safe behavior, so we will take control of that situation if we have to, but obviously, we hope that we would not have to take such an extreme measure if we don’t need to.
  4. Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! Like anything, attitude is an important ingredient to a great experience. The more fun you have the more comfortable you will be.

Conclusion

The bad news you’ve heard recently came from a homemade zip line without proper safety precautions. That is nothing like our courses. From our equipment to our staff, everything is prepared to ensure all you have to do is enjoy the ride.

Not only that, but recent concerns and the pandemic have also made us extra vigilant with protection. We check our tours daily and have scheduled maintenance multiple times a month. You can leave your worries behind and experience an exciting time with us.

We invite you to give the ziplines a try. It’s an exciting experience that will stay with you for a long time. You aren’t the first to feel nervous about trying it, but many have experienced our Canopy Tour and enjoyed the ride. We’re committed to putting everyone at ease and ensuring a safe, happy zipline tour.