(KUTV) — A law that would regulate trampoline parks in Utah is one step away from becoming law. The news comes on the heels of a Get Gephardt investigation into trampoline park injuries.
The biggest thing the law will do is create a set of safety standards for what trampoline parks should do - and what they should avoid doing - to help minimize the risk of the sport.
Last month, after hearing from people who claim they were severely hurt at local trampoline parks, Get Gephardt investigated to see what is done to minimize injuries.
Going undercover to several trampoline parks along the Wasatch Front, Get Gephardt observed lots of signs warning of risks, employees monitoring the park and, before being allowed to enter, each had a safety video patron were instructed to watch.
At each, patrons were also told to sign a waiver. The waivers were long and in legalese, but all basically said the same thing: you may get hurt and you’re signing away your right to hold the park responsible.
What there is not, or investigation confirmed, is any sort of state-wide regulation here in Utah. Rep. Norm Thurston said that needs to change.
"We are seeing way too many kids with serious injuries to their lower extremities, spinal cords, things like that, that are just life changing," he said.
He is running a bill titled "Trampoline Park Safety Standards.” It spells out the way parks would be responsible to train their employees and also supervise jumpers. It also identifies industry safety standards with which a trampoline park must comply, including reporting injuries to state regulators and having insurance.
Thurston said, like any sport, there is no way to prevent trampoline park injuries 100 percent but that doesn’t mean parks should be allowed to operate without any oversight.
“There is some inherent risk to using a trampoline park — you come down, you land funny, you hit your head on your knee, there's things that do go wrong,” Thurston said. “What we're trying to say to trampoline parks is you do have a duty to follow safety guidelines minimizing the unnecessary risks of trampoline parks."
The bill passed the full state house and the senate. If the governor signs it then you will know when you go to one of these parks it's been inspected and the state believes it's as safe as it can be. If it doesn't live up to safety standards, the state could revoke a park’s license to operate.