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Theme parks: Ocean Park Provides New Guidelines on Public Announcements for Ride-Related Incidents

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After discussions with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and the Tourism Commission, Ocean Park announces today the guidelines regarding the notification protocols for mechanical ride-related incidents to enhance transparency to the public in the future.
 
Related: Blooloop interviews Tom Mehrmann, Chief Executive, Ocean Park Corporation

The guidelines apply to the following situations:

  • The death of a person or an injury requiring hospitalization or treatment by medical professionals due to a mechanical or operational failure of a ride
  • A mechanical or operational failure of a ride, which may affect its safe operation
  • Any rescue operation which requires the assistance of a third party
  • Any fire, ground settlement or landslide affecting the safe operation of a ride
  • Any stoppages which detain guests on the ride for over 20 minutes

In addition to issuing a press release within 24 hours of the incident, a notice will be posted on the corporate website immediately. Guests will also be informed through notice posted at the Park’s main entrance, the involved attraction, the Admiralty bus station, and on all in-park tip boards immediately after the closure of the attraction.
 
Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park said, “In response to the recent incidents, we have taken time to review the desired transparent communication process and have adopted the above new guidelines which far exceed what is required by the Hong Kong regulations. In addition, we shall post a notice on the corporate website immediately for any closure of a ride expected to be over an hour. Guests will also be informed through notices posted at the Park’s main entrance, the involved attraction, the Admiralty bus station, and on all in-park tip boards immediately after the closure of the attraction. We will continue to review our announcement protocols from time to time to ensure that any ride-related issues that are of interest to the public and the media will be reported in a timely and transparent manner. The safety of our guests has always been the number one priority of Ocean Park, and we will continue to do everything in our capabilities to ensure that a safe and enjoyable experience is provided to all of our guests.”

About Ocean Park

Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique home grown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organisation, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognised for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 100 million people have visited Hong Kong’s premier park since its inception, and Ocean Park has remained committed to offering adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation. Part of the proceeds from Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.
 
Ocean Park – About Safety Measures

The safety of all Park guests has always been the number one priority of Ocean Park. Operation of all rides within Ocean Park are approved by EMSD and comply with and go beyond all relevant regulations and guidelines required by the Government. Handled by a team of 160, all 23 rides currently in operation are inspected on a daily basis. Periodical maintenance checks are also conducted on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis to ensure the safety of the mechanical rides. The rides are subject to annual inspections by ride-surveyors, upon which a detailed report is written and submitted to EMSD. In addition, beyond the Ordinances’ requirements, Ocean Park engages international ride safety consultants every year to review the conditions of all the rides, maintenance and operation practices, and records. Standard exiting procedures and emergency drills are conducted on all rides and attractions regularly with the involvement of EMSD and the Fire Services Department.
 
Ocean Park’s 90 ride operators hold a total of 560 operator certificates for the individual rides. A minimum of 30 hours of practical training, a written test and a practical test are administered by a certified competent person (CP) approved by EMSD before an initial certificate is issued. There are also ongoing training sessions, and the Park’s practice has been to have each and every operator certificate refreshed formally (including a practical test) every two years although this is beyond what is required by the legislation.
 
The Park also has a long established Corporate Safety Committee, internal audit programs and recently introduced Enterprise Risk Management System to review all Park facilities regularly through various programs for recognition of effective and safe operations, using best practices of the Industry, as well as identifying and addressing safety improvements and incident prevention.
 
An independent ride safety consultant has been engaged to conduct a full investigation, starting in October 2011, to review the mechanical ride systems, maintenance, operations, staffing, manuals, emergency procedures, training and the events of incidents to ensure that the systems were operated and maintained properly and to recommend improvement if needed to ensure safe practices.
 
Ocean Park is committed to ensuring the safety of its guests and will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all to enjoy.

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