Bill Text: MS SB2372 | 2020 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: Amusement rides; provide requirements for an application to operate amusement rides and inspection requirements.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-03-25 - Referred To Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency;Ways and Means [SB2372 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-SB2372-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency; Agriculture

By: Senator(s) Younger

Senate Bill 2372

(As Passed the Senate)

AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN APPLICATION TO OPERATE AMUSEMENT RIDES IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO REQUIRE AN INSPECTOR TO HAVE CERTAIN CERTIFICATIONS BEFORE INSPECTING AMUSEMENT RIDES; TO PROVIDE INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR AMUSEMENT RIDES; TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR OPERATORS OF AMUSEMENT RIDES; TO REQUIRE INCIDENT REPORTING; TO PROVIDE FOR INCIDENT INVESTIGATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

          (a)  "Amusement ride" or "ride" means a mechanical device that carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted route or course for the purpose of giving the passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills or excitement.  The term amusement ride does not include bungee jumping, zip lines, waterslides, or obstacle, challenge or adventure courses.

          (b)  "Ride operator" means the person having direct control of the starting, stopping or speed of an amusement ride.

          (c)  "Owner/operator" means the person or organization that is responsible for the maintenance and operation of an amusement ride or amusement device.

          (d)  "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

          (e)  "Serious injuries/illnesses" means a person's injury/illness that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function, or system, a compound fracture, or other significant injury/illness that requires immediate admission and overnight hospitalization and observation by a licensed physician.

          (f)  "Minor injuries/illnesses" means injuries and illnesses which may or may not require emergency first aid or significant treatment, or both, but cannot be otherwise classified as a serious injury or illness.  This term includes incidents where treatment is limited to such things as the dispensation of over-the-counter medication or plastic adhesive strips, cleansing, rest, and other similar duties or assistance.

     SECTION 2.  (1)  An amusement ride may not be operated in this state unless the Mississippi Department of Revenue has issued an operating permit decal for the amusement ride to the owner/operator within the preceding twelve (12) months.

     (2)  An application for an operating permit decal shall be submitted to the department not fewer than fifteen (15) business days before the first time the amusement ride is operated in the state, and shall include the following:

          (a)  Certificate of insurance in the amount of not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence that insures the owner/operator against liability for injury to persons and property arising out of the use or operation of the amusement ride;

          (b)  Payment of a fee not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00); and

          (c)  Proof of satisfactory inspection of the ride by a qualified inspector, as defined in Section 3 of this act, conducted no earlier than fifteen (15) days prior to the submission of the application for an operating permit decal.  The date of the inspection shall be indicated on the proof of inspection.

     (3)  The operating permit decal shall be valid for one (1) year from the date of issue and shall be in a manner and format to be prescribed by the department.

     (4)  The operating permit decal shall be affixed to the ride in a conspicuous location that is plainly visible to patrons.

     (5)  The department shall:

          (a)  Determine the manner and format of the operating permit decal, any forms to be used to apply for the decal, and any forms to be used to report serious injuries/illnesses;

          (b)  Make any forms and certifications available on the department's website and shall provide decals to owners/operators;

          (c)  Subject to the limitations of this act, determine the fee for the filing of an operating permit decal;

          (d)  Allow an owner/operator to apply for operating permit decals for multiple rides at (1) one time, using one (1) form; and

          (e)  Charge one (1) fee for the filing of each application form, regardless of the number of rides listed on the application.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  The annual inspection required in Section 2 of this act must be conducted by a qualified inspector.

          (a)  A qualified inspector shall be certified by:

              (i)  The National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials at a minimum as a Level I Inspector; or

              (ii)  The Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers International at a level that is equivalent to the certification pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.

          (b)  Have twenty-four (24) months of employment experience in the amusement ride inspection field; and

          (c)  A qualified inspector does not include the owner/operator of the ride or an employee or agent of the owner/operator.

     (2)  The Certificate of Inspection shall certify that the ride is in substantial compliance with ASTM International Standard F770-19 concerning practices for ownership, operation, maintenance and inspection of amusement rides and devices.

     (3)  The owner/operator of an amusement ride shall:

          (a)  Operate, maintain and inspect all rides in substantial compliance with ASTM International Standard F770-19;

          (b)  Keep a paper or electronic copy of all required forms or certification, and of all safety inspections conducted by the owner/operator during the preceding twelve (12) months, or until an inspection is repeated, whichever is longer for each ride:

              (i)  On or near that ride; or

              (ii)  At the office of the owner/operator; and

              (iii)  Make those records available to the department promptly upon request.

     SECTION 4.  (1)  A ride operator shall:

          (a)  Be at least sixteen (16) years of age;

          (b)  Operate only one (1) amusement ride at a time;

          (c)  Be in attendance at all times that the ride is operating; and

          (d)  Operate the ride in accordance with the ride manufacturer's specifications.

     (2)  To the extent permitted by law, a ride operator may deny any person entrance to an amusement ride if the ride operator believes that entrance by that person may jeopardize the safety of the person or other persons.

     (3)  Patron responsibility:

          (a)  There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement ride.  Patrons of an amusement ride by participation, accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware.  Patrons have the duty to exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using the amusement ride, device, or attraction and to obey all oral or written warnings, or both, prior to or during participation, or both.

          (b)  Patrons have a duty to not participate in or on any amusement ride when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

          (c)  Patrons have a duty to properly use all ride or device safety equipment provided.

          (d)  Any patron who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to immediate removal from the amusement facility without a refund of any admission charge.

          (e)  An owner/operator of an amusement ride shall display the potential penalties for violation of this section at each amusement ride.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  The owner/operator shall maintain an incident report log for all rider injuries/illnesses, other than minor injuries or illnesses, resulting from the operation of an amusement ride in this state.  The recorded information shall include, at a minimum, the following:

          (a)  The date the injury occurred;

          (b)  The name, address, and telephone number of the injured rider;

          (c)  The age of the injured rider;

          (d)  The manufacturer's name and serial number of the amusement ride involved in the injury;

          (e)  The name of the amusement ride in use at the location of the injury, if different from the manufacturer's name;

          (f)  A description of the injury, including, to the extent known, its cause; and

          (g)  A description of any first-aid treatment administered to the injured rider.

     (2)  The owner/operator shall maintain the incident report log for a minimum of three (3) years.

     (3)  The owner/operator shall report all serious injuries/illnesses resulting from the operation of an amusement ride in this state that do not result in death to the department, in writing, within seventy-two (72) hours of the owner/operator being notified of the serious injury/illness.

     (4)  The owner/operator shall report all serious injuries/illnesses resulting from the operation of an amusement ride in this state, that result in death to the administrator within two (2) hours of the owner/operator being notified of the death.  The owner/operator may initially notify the department verbally via telephone, but will follow up with a written report of a death within twenty-four (24) hours of the owner/operator being notified of the death.

     (5)  In the event of a serious injury/illness resulting from the operation of an amusement ride in this state, the owner/operator shall immediately cease operation of the amusement ride except as necessary to prevent imminent harm to any person.  The owner/operator shall take all reasonable steps to preserve the condition of the amusement ride pending an investigation by the department.

     SECTION 6.  (1)  Within twenty-four (24) hours of notification by the owner/operator of a serious injury/illness, the department may initiate an investigation into the reported serious injury/illness.  If the department determines that an investigation is not warranted, the department shall promptly notify the owner/operator and the amusement ride may be reopened.  If the department initiates an investigation the amusement ride shall not be reopened to the public until such time as the department's investigation is complete and authorization to reopen is given to the owner/operator.

     (2)  The department's investigation shall be conducted with the assistance of a qualified inspector employed by the department or through contract with the department.  The cost of any such investigation shall be paid by the owner/operator.

     (3)  Any investigation shall be conducted with all practicable speed to minimize the disruption of the amusement facility at which the amusement ride is located, as well as unrelated commercial activities.

     (4)  An investigation of a reported serious injury/illness shall be completed immediately following the reasonable determination by the inspector or the department's designee that a principal cause of the serious injury/illness was the injured rider's failure to comply with the posted safety rules or with verbal instructions given by operators.

     SECTION 7.  The provisions of this act shall not apply to any nonprofit owner/operator who operates ten (10) rides or less.

     SECTION 8.  The Commissioner of Revenue may adopt any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

     SECTION 9.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2021.

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