Oxygen Freejumping and Right Directions join forces to create sector safety guidelines
Oxygen Freejumping, the UK’s largest trampoline park operator, has joined forces with health and safety and quality management expert, Right Directions, to create a Trampoline Park Safety Operating Plan (TPSOP).
Right Directions, which delivers Sport England’s quality scheme Quest, as well as ukactive’s Code of Practice, has been working with Oxygen Freejumping since July 2015 to develop specific guidance for trampoline parks, similar to the industry-recognised swimming pool guidance.
Following a risk assessment process, the TPSOP sets out how a trampoline park will operate on a day to day basis, including staffing levels, where staff should stand, how breaks should be rotated and the pre use inspection and maintenance of equipment, as well as customer numbers, the minimum age, and rules of engagement for customers while they play. The guidance also covers health and safety management processes for the rest of the building.
“Although there is currently no formal regulated guidance for trampoline parks, it is important that all hazards and risks have been considered in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act,” says Gill Twell, Head of Group Operations at Right Directions. “There is a correlation between the work we do with leisure centres and Quest and trampoline parks, so we have been able to apply our experience and knowledge to this TPSOP.”
Oxygen’s CEO, David Stalker said: “Oxygen Freejumping puts the health and safety of its team and customers at the top of our priorities. We could only ever partner with the best health and safety provider in the leisure industry and so, with the help of Right Directions, we have set procedures in place to ensure this happens. As one of the first trampoline park operators in the country we want to pioneer guidelines that others in the sector can implement and the TPSOP does just that.”
Trampoline parks employ a high percentage of young staff and Oxygen’s first site in Acton, London employs 80 18-24 year olds alone. Sarah Adlam, Group Operations Manager for the brand, which is due to open five further sites by September 2016 and another 25 by the end of 2017, says: “We need young staff to ensure engagement with our customers, but with young staff there is a higher turnover and all new employees must undergo a full induction.
“The staff need to have full awareness of health and safety issues as well as the importance of making sure our customers have fun – it’s a very fine line between the two. So it was essential we work with a competent, experienced health and safety provider to help us set and manage our procedures – a safety net if you like, to ensure we are doing things correctly.”
Right Directions spent two weeks working at Oxygen’s Acton park ahead of its opening, rectifying any issues and ensuring all the procedures in the TPSOP were site specific. “They put our team through a week-long intensive training course like nothing I have ever been exposed to before,” says Adlam. “There will also be ongoing quarterly training as well as a ‘train the trainer’ course for senior management so that we can do some of the work internally going forwards. It’s good to have Right Directions, a company we can trust, to ensure we are fully compliant with the health and safety procedures they have put in place, and to know they are on the end of the phone with professional advice should we need it.”
Right Directions is currently working with several trampoline park operators, who have all signed up to the company’s accident analysis tool STITCH, which is endorsed by Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and the Institute of Qualified Lifeguards (IQL) and enables operators to monitor the type and level of accidents occurring across the UK.
Twell explains why it’s so important: “The trampoline park sector is in its infancy, but going forwards more parks are likely to log accidents or incidents on STITCH. This will enable operators to review the data daily, both from head office and each site, monitor accident trends and review avoidable incidents, as well as benchmark against the industry.
“STITCH will inform operators of potential hot spots and how they can improve safety and ultimately the customer experience. STITCH isn’t designed to stop people having fun, it’s about improving the customer journey while making sure they are safe, and helping trampoline parks across the UK to stay the right side of the law.”
Adlam concludes: “Right Directions work almost as part of our senior management team – it’s a very close relationship, with the team on hand 24/7 to offer support, whether that’s a safety concern or a query about an internal monitoring process for staff. So we are excited to be able to go on this journey with them to develop regulations that can be used by trampoline parks across the UK to ensure the best safety of their customers.”
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Right Directions Management provides health and safety and quality management support to the leisure industry, specialising in local authority and trust-managed sites, as well as smaller independent operators. Right Directions, which delivers Quest on behalf of Sport England and ukactive’s Code of Practice, has more than 60 years experience within its field. www.rightdirections.co.uk
For further information contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019