This blog uses the same approach to the global analysis of media reports from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018 can be found in the following paper.
Woodcock, K., 2019, Global incidence of theme park and amusement ride accidents, Safety Science 113, 171-179.
This study describes worldwide occurrence of accidents involving amusement rides. The study compiled and classified reports in international media coverage for a one-year period, analysing event type, ride type, operation type, and regional location. Media reports provided limited detail and almost certainly omitted some events but remain the only publicly available data on a global scale.
Over the year, 182 accident events were reported, from 38 countries, of which 51 events involved a fatality. Mechanical rides and roller coasters were involved in 87 events. Fixed-site rides (amusement and theme parks), mobile rides, and waterparks were involved with a similar number of cases. The most common event type with fixed-site and mobile rides was ride malfunction (63 cases). In waterparks, drowning or near-miss of drowning was most common (27 cases). Just 11 reports involved improper rider action, 12 involved failure of reasonable action, and 11 involved medical conditions or reactions.
Occurrence as a proportion of attendance was highest in Latin America, predominantly involving mechanical non-tracked rides; water attractions predominated in North America. Lower prevalence of malfunctions in North America suggests value of professional development for mechanics and inspectors and strong regulation to promote international safety standards.
Woodcock, K., 2014. Amusement ride injury data in the United States. Safety Science 62, 466-474.
Amusement ride injuries are generally understood to be infrequent, but are notable when they occur. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of amusement safety is in the public interest and important for continuous improvement. This paper reports on an analysis of the amusement injury data collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for 2010. Inflatable sides and bounces are involved with at least 42% of amusement injuries, 56% of injured patrons are aged 15 or under, and females sustain 57% of injuries treated, predominating at all ages above 5. Relative risks for user categories or device types cannot be computed, as exposure data is inadequate. The source data also largely lacks adequate information about the injury producing events and specific equipment involved, which interferes with development of strategic safety improvement priorities. Improvements are needed at the point of data collection either through the existing system or development of a new data collection mechanism, or both.
For a review of publicly available data sources, see this page.
Other papers from the THRILL Lab will be added here.