Commercial Zip Lines Face New Inspections, Regulations

Sep 2, 2013

Amusement Device Inspector Manager Lee Bentley, left, will be joined by another inspector to handle a increased work load thanks in large part to zip line popularity.
Credit Tennessee Department of Labor

The Tennessee Department of Labor says zip lines have been popping up across the state, and new policies this year are keeping inspectors busy.

New safety and operations policies for zip line installation and operation went into effect on January first. Jeff Hentschel with the Tennessee Department of Labor says the department hired another zip line inspector to keep up with this year’s workload.

“The time we’ve had to focus on zip lines has been in the East Tennessee area. So we’ve identified around 15 operations out there and talked to those but we’ve really just scratched the surface and obviously that’s just one side of the state,” he says.

Hentschel says the department’s been busy this month inspecting rides at fall fairs and carnivals, but expects to spend next month focusing in on zip lines.

“We only know of a fraction of the zip lines that are out there now, we’re collecting information and gathering as many sites as we can and sending them notifications that there are these requirements out there, so there is a grace period,” he says.

Hentschel says under the new standards, commercial zip line owners now have to show proof of insurance, records of daily inspections, and undergo an annual certified inspection for re-certification.