New Regulations Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Who is TSASK, what is their role and relationship to the ministry/government?

ATSASK is an arms-length body established in 2010 by legislation as a self-funded non-   profit     organization responsible for the administration and enforcement of boilers, pressure vessels, elevating devices and amusement ride legislation and regulations – collectively known as the “safety statutes”. TSASK is governed by a board of directors consisting of a combination of TSASK9appoints 3-8 members) and Government (appoints 2 members) appointees. There is an administrative agreement between the Government and TSASK, which sets out the terms, conditions and mandate of TSASK to develop, administer, manage and enforce programs that ensure compliance with codes, standards, legislation and regulations for the three technical areas or technologies listed above, and TSASK’s reporting requirements. The provincial government, through the ministry of Government relations – Building Standards branch maintains responsibility for the legislative and regulatory framework regarding the three technologies and the agreement and interface with TSASK.

Q:  What kind of rides are being regulated?

A:  The regulations apply to rides normally found at travelling exhibitions and fairs (i.e. merry go rounds, haunted houses, roller coasters) and inflatable rides used at public events (i.e. bouncy castles).

Q:  If the proposed regulations regulate inflatable rides, why are some inflatables exempt?

A:  The regulations exempt inflatable devices used in gymnasiums or for advertisement purposes. The purpose of the aforementioned devices and the purposes of amusement rides are inconsistent. The Amusement Ride Safety Act states an amusement ride exists for the purposes of amusement.  An inflatable device erected for advertisement, or reducing the impact of landing a jump in a gym, does not exist for amusement.

Q:  Why exempt mechanical bulls?

A: The Amusement Ride Safety Regulations ensure a rider safely uses a ride, whereas the purpose of a mechanical bull or device may cause injury. The rider understands the risk and knows the device restricts the rider from staying on.

Q:  With the rise of trampoline parks in Saskatchewan, why are the regulations exempting trampolines?

A:  Trampoline parks are popular in Saskatchewan, in particular, the cities of Regina and Saskatoon.  Trampoline parks have also see a rise in the number of patron injuries throughout the United States. The regulations exempt trampolines because trampolines do not have a mechanical component. The rider operates the device or an external operator. Empirical evidence shows improper use causes injuries. Saskatchewan is the only province to explicitly exempt trampolines. Other jurisdictions do not regulate trampoline facilities despite trampoline facilities not being explicitly exempt in regulation.

Q:  Why are the regulations exempting rides used on private property?

A:  The regulations were never intended to cover devices on private property.  Inflatable rides are a popular product rented by private citizens for use at birthday parties and other special occasions. Citizens may purchase/rent amusement rides for the entertainment of their guests. Inflatables must meet the manufacturer’s standards established by ASTM. However, the private citizen assumes a risk when providing his/her guests the use of an inflatable ride. Likewise, the rider assumes a risk when using an inflatable ride. The government respects the right of private citizens engaging in activities of their own choosing on private property.

Q:  Why have these proposed regulations removed the distinction between adult and kiddie go-karts?

A:  The adopted standards do not reference adult and kiddie go-karts. Manufacturers of concession go-karts only establish one type of go-kart, which makes the distinction between kiddie and adult obsolete.

Q:  Why do the regulations remove all but one reference to the CSA?

A: With the exception of aluminum welding, CSA standards are no longer the current standard applicable in Canada.  Canada has worked with the United States to harmonize safety standards across North America.  The purpose of harmonization was to eliminate barriers, improve investment and commerce while maintaining high safety standards. These regulations will follow the lead of Canadian and American experts and adopt the most recent standards approved by the ASTM.

Q:  Why was the amount of liability insurance increased from $1 million to $2 million?

A:  After a review of the most current regulations in Canada, and consultation with the Insurance Bureau of Canada and TSASK, we determined an increase in liability insurances relevance and protects amusement ride owner interests. The majority of amusement ride owners already have liability of $2 million, with many having $5 million in liability insurance. Those with $5 million in liability insurance typically own major amusement rides used at travelling exhibitions across Canada. We note the change in liability insurance will affect premiums for some operators (~3/~43). We conclude the average liability insurance premium at $1 million in coverage is $2500. The change to $2 million will increase annual premiums by $625.00.

Q:  Why are all references to fees and the tables containing fees being removed?

A:  The fee references and fee tables in the regulations have all been superseded by fees set by TSASK bylaw and are being removed to prevent any confusion.

All fees related to amusement ride licensing, registration and inspections are now established by TSASK. Bylaw pursuant to its broad authority under section7 (specifically clauses 7(1) (b), 7(2) (c) AND 7(5)) and section 30 of The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan Act.

When TSASK was established in 2010, its enabling legislation, The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan Act provided it the authority to set fees through bylaw, and once set, those fees take precedence over any set out in regulation. This is set out in section 30 of the Act. This transition is complete and the fees in the regulations are redundant and can be removed.

Q:   Whatchanges are proposed?

A:  The new regulations contain three main changes:

Update the adopted standards by which amusement rides must be built, assembled and inspected;

Remove fees from regulations, while recognizing TSASK may establish licensing fees through bylaw; and

Update terminology and improve readability.

Q:  What are the proposed standards for these regulations?

A:  The regulations adopt the following standards:

  • ASTM F2783-14 Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices in Canada; The central standard for Canada, includes inflatables and all amusement rides able to be constructed in Canada typically found at amusement parks.
  • ASTM F2291-15 Standard Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices;
  • Standard for fences – this will replace a number of prescriptive provisions currently in the regulations.
  • ASTM F1193-16 Standard Practice for Quality, Manufacture, and Construction of Amusement Rides and Devices; Standard specifying manufacturer requirements. ASTM F770-15 Standard Practice for Ownership, Operation, Maintenance, and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices;
  • Standards for how rides shall be operated, maintained and inspected.
  • ASTM F2007-12 Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, and Operation of Concession Go-Karts and Facilities;
  •  A standard for go-karts and go-kart tracks.
  • ASTM F2374-10 Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation and Maintenance of Inflatable Amusement Devices; 
  • Standard for inflatables.
  • ASTM F2974-15 Standard Guide for Auditing Amusement Rides and Devices;
  • Standard for inspectors to inspect amusement rides.
  • ASTM F747-15 Standard Terminology Relating to Amusement Rides and Devices;
  • Standard referencing terms used in the amusement ride industry.
  • CSA W47.2-11(R2015) Certification of Companies for Fusion Welding of Aluminum;
  • Standard for aluminum welding.

Q:  Why are you rewriting the regulations?

A:  Government Relations and the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK) identified these regulations in 2015 as an excellent candidate for review and rewrite because the current regulations contain outdated standards, do not fully reflect current industry and TSASK practices and may create unnecessary administration.

The Red Tape Committee approved the Ministry of Government Relations (Ministry) and TSASK plans for rewriting The Amusement Ride Safety Regulations in August 2016.

Rewriting the regulations is consistent with ministry and government objectives to review business-related regulations within a 10-year timeframe.

Industry – including equipment owners, manufacturers and maintenance personnel expect up to date standards for the safe set up, operation and maintenance of equipment.

Q:  How many amusement rides are there in the province?

A:  TSASK licensed 386 amusement rides in 2016 and inspected over 350 rides in 2016. There are between 40-50 ride operators in the province.

Q:  Have you conducted an interjurisdictional scan examining other provinces and territories in terms of amusement ride regulations?

A:  Yes. An interjurisdictional scan reveals Saskatchewan will have the most up to date amusement ride regulations in Canada.

Q:  Why does Saskatchewan exempt zip lines and waterslides?

A:  Amusement ride regulations in Saskatchewan have never regulated these devices.

The Ministry of Health already regulates waterslides. Zip lines, like waterslides, operates without a mechanical component where gravity moves the rider and these types of devices are typically exempt from amusement ride regulations across Canada.

Q:  Why are shopping mall rides exempt?

A:  Shopping mall rides, or coin operated rides are exempt because rides erected in malls have mall liability insurance.  The manufacturer of a mall ride must provide documentation with the ride showing the ride meets specific safety standards, which means a manufacturer issue likely exists rather than an operational issue. Mall rides do not require operator intervention because mall rides operate by coin. Mall rides run on a times circuit whereby the ride shuts off after a set period.

Q:  Why have “devices under the swimming pool regulations” replaced “waterslides” under the list of exemptions?

A:  The proposed regulations clarify waterslide exemptions. The Swimming Pool Regulations, 1999 regulate waterslides, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health. The Swimming Pool Regulations, 1999 references waterslides as waterslide facilities and includes other devices found and used in swimming pools. The proposed regulations clarify the jurisdictional divide between Health and Government Relations avoiding duplicate administration.

Q:  Why are devices where gravity is the primary mover of the rider exempt?

A:  Gravity-controlled devices such as zip lines have standards established by the ASTM. However, gravity controlled devices do not require an operator or attendant. In the case of a zip line, an operator may help the rider onto the ride and help him land too, but once in operation, the operator cannot stop the rider from moving.  The ride must meet ASTM standards when manufactured. Manufacturer defect or failure to follow manufacturer instructions will likely cause injury. Rather than list each ride, Saskatchewan has summarized the class of rides exempt from regulation to help industry.

Q:  Saskatchewan has two major centres with outdoor adventure rides in Cypress Hills and Elk Ridge owned and operated by TreeOsix. Why are the rides located in the two locations exempt from regulation?

A:  TreeOsix has aerial adventure courses located in Cypress Hills and Elk Ridge. The company boasts a variety of adventure rides including zip lines, climbing walls, slack lines, and treetop drops. The rides fall under the ASTM standard for aerial adventure courses and are exempt because gravity moves the rider. Ride owners take the responsibility for ride assembly, based on manufacturer standards.  The rider assumes the risk of using the ride and has little control over the ride insofar as gravity manipulates the movement of the rider. In addition, there is no mechanical equipment to inspect.

Q:  What are these regulations exempting hot air balloons and live animal rides?

A:  Hot air balloons have not and will not be regulated by these regulations.  The regulations clarify the Ministry’s long standing policy and is consistent to the approach taken by other Canadian provinces. Live animal rides do not have an adopted standard under the ASTM and therefore cannot be regulated for safety purposes under The Amusement Ride Safety Regulations, 2017. Live animal rides are exempt in several provinces.

Q:  How are these proposed regulations ensuring the adopted standard remains relevant in the future?

A:  Subsection 5(2) ensures the regulations achieve a level of longevity because adoption of a newer set of standards does not necessarily constitute a violation of these regulations. However, if a newer standard contradicts the regulations or the ACT, current legislation prevails.

Q:  If itinerant and non-itinerant rides are different, why is the licensing the same?

A:  itinerant and non-itinerant amusement rides must follow the same licensing rules. Itinerant and non-itinerant have different frequencies of inspection times.  Itinerant rides require inspection after each assembly, or when it receives a major modification. A non-itinerant ride require inspection after initial assembly, or if the ride undergoes a major modification.

Q:  The regulations reference documentation required by amusement ride owners kept at the site of an amusement ride (i.e. a technical dossier).  Why have the requirements of the document changed?

A:  Manufacturers must inform amusement ride owners when major modifications or changes are required, yet an inspector does not have to receive the same information. The regulation changes ensure major modification notices exist with the amusement ride, keeping the inspector informed.

Q:  Why have the fencing regulations been rewritten/removed?

A:  The specific details regarding fencing requirements are now in the adopted standards and these standards require fencing around all amusement rides to meet specific key objectives related to the specific ride or location of the ride. The previous regulations required fences for certain specific heights that may no longer be appropriate for all situations and all rides.  Clearances between rides and buildings are also required so the ride does not contact a building or another ride.

Q:  Why have the regulations removed the prescriptive rules surrounding go-karts?

A:  The previous prescriptive regulations duplicate information now found in the ASTM standards related to these rides and facilities. By referencing the applicable ASTM standard for concession go-karts, the regulations ensure no inconsistency and provide for flexibility and change over time without compromising the safety of go-kart users.

Q:  What is the cost of purchasing the new ASTM standards?

A:  Purchasing all ASTM standards adopted by the regulations will cost each purchaser $381 USD. Copies are not publically available.

Q:  What is the projected total cost to stakeholders over a ten-year period to comply with the regulations?

A:  No new fees are established with the rewrite of the regulations, and the majority of amusement ride stakeholders are operating at the proposed standards. Nonetheless, there are some costs as well as some savings associated with the new, rewritten regulations.

  • Specific costs and savings have been estimated using the Ministry of Economy direct cost estimator, and are as follows:
  • Previously licensed rides will not see any increased costs. New amusement rides to the province will require a one-time $150 TSASK inspection fee.  This is not a new fee; the regulations clarify its applicability to itinerant (i.e. out of province) rides.
  • Approximately 10 per cent (3-4) of the 43 amusement ride owners are projected to be impacted by the changes in liability insurance regulations, which will cost each an additional $625 annually. The remaining 40 indicated already having sufficient minimum liability insurance.
  • The 43 amusement ride owners will incur a minimal one-time cost to familiarize themselves with the newest regulations. This is estimated at $42/person reflected in one-hour time to learn the regulations at the contractor and trade-persons average wage as per the estimates provided by the cost estimator.  
  • Finally, the ministry believes these costs are offset by administrative savings associated with having updated codes and standards consistent with industry practices and those in place in other jurisdictions including neighbouring provinces of Alberta and Manitoba as many stakeholders operate across provinces. These are recurring savings since ride owners would not need to reconcile differences in codes and standards among different jurisdictions prior to operating in these jurisdictions. Application of the Ministry of Economy’s direct cost estimator to the above costs and savings places the net total savings to ride owners from the rewritten regulations at $20,000 over ten years. TSASK will also benefit because inflatable standards are established in regulations, which saves inspectors time attempting to identify safety protocols for inflatable rides. TSASK may see increased inspection volumes that it will need to manage; this impact is minor as amusement rides, including inflatables, are already licensed and inspected.

Q:  What are these regulations doing to reduce the likelihood of an incident similar to the Crickle Creek inflatable malfunction?

A:  The regulations adopt the ASTM standard for inflatable amusement devices. The standard ensures that inflatable devices are equipped with a backup blower to ensure the ride does not deflate in the event of a loss of power. In addition, the adopted standard for inflatables requires owner/operators to have a minimum number of operators or attendants present at each inflatable as recommended by the manufacturer. The presence of an operator or attendant will ensure that in the unlikely event of an emergency, the riders may exit the ride.

Q:  Are any fees being increased or new fees being proposed?

A:  No fee increases and no new fees are being proposed in the rewrite of the regulations. New amusement rides to the province will require a one-time $150 TSASK inspection fee. This is not a new fee; the regulations clarify its applicability to itinerant (i.e. out of province) rides.

Q:  Does TSASK keep the fees it generates?

A:  Yes. One of the founding principles of TSASK in 2010 when it was created to administer amusement ride, boiler/pressure vessel and elevator and safety services was that is capture sufficient funds from the users through its application, licensing and inspection fee structure to meet its public safety mandate, eliminating the need for tax payer subsidies. All fees related to amusement ride licensing, registration and inspections and any other services performed by TSASK in administering and enforcing the three safety statutes are paid to authority as per section 7 (specifically clauses 7(1) (b), 7(2) (c) and 7(5)) and section 30 of The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan Act.

Q:  Why are the new regulations only coming into force on January 1, 2018?

A: A coming into force date of January 1, 2018 provides more time for the ministry and TSASK to inform stakeholders of the new regulations and updated codes and standards and time for stakeholders to prepare for and implement the new regulations and updated standards in advance of the 2018 spring and summer season.

Q:  What consultations were undertaken during the rewrite of these regulations?

A:  TSASK engaged with its stakeholders in April 2016 through a survey and found support for updated amusement ride regulations.

The ministry further engaged over 40 individual amusement ride and other stakeholders from inside and outside Saskatchewan in late 2016 and early 2017 by sending drafting instructions of the proposed new regulations for comment. The majority of comments and concerns raised by amusement ride owners were addressed and all indicated support for updating the codes and standards in the regulations.

Stakeholders consulted included:

o    North American Midway entertainment (NAME) based in Ontario

o    The Insurance Bureau of Canada

o    Saskatchewan-based ride and inflatable owners including Dino Bouncers, Amazing Adventures, Saturn Shows, What’s the Scoop, Jumpy Things inflatables, A1_Rentals,Crazy Monkey Bouncers, Bounce A lot.

The ministry also consulted provincial counterparts in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba as part of the New West Partnership Notice of Intent process in late fall 2016 and early 2017. No concerns were raised.