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Zip-line adventure sport in Chiang Mai is now safer after improvements

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Zip-line adventurous sports is now safer after improvements

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CHIANG MAI: -- The adventurous zip-line sports, otherwise known as aerial rope-slide, is now back in business in Chiang Mai but with more confidence of its safety after operators have improved the service following a number of accidents in past months.

Zip-lining is very popular among foreign adventure seeking tourists but in the recent past has been marred by a number of accidents.

Operators in Chiang Mai have thus adopted new procedures to raise safety standards on their own initiative while the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is preparing a draft to introduce new laws to regulate the service.

One of the improved safety measures is the preparatory practice to check the equipment prior to allowing tourists to use them.

This practice is part of the international zip-line standard which the Chiang Mai Zip-Line Club has recently adopted.

These standards have been adopted by all operators in Chiang Mai and are also an effective tool for screening visitors as well.

The new protocols have just been adopted after a series of accidents that have resulted in a number of injuries as well as deaths.

One operator showed the brake system which was improved.

The brake is part of the equipment that has been specified by international zip-lining standards and adopted by operators here in the country.

It provides the direct ability to decelerate and dramatically increases safety levels.

Besides, the new standards make specific requirements on equipment readiness as well as higher levels of operating practices.

The number of slings being used has now been increased as added safety fallback and large tree trunks have been covered in impact absorbent cushions. The degree of incline has now been adjusted and higher operating protocols for all staff have been put in place as well.

Last but not least, the actual number of visitors allowed on a sling at anytime has been reduced and a strict check screening them is now deemed a necessity before they are allowed on the slings.

A Chiang Mai zip-line operator Songsai Mangklad said he has now specified that users must be at least 5 years old.

But he said more importantly can the child’s head fit comfortably into the safety helmets.

A snug fit is important and if they cannot meet this physical requirement then they will not be allowed on the slings even though they passed the age requirement.

“The oldest age we deem as safe is 60 years but we must also ascertain if they are suffering from any life threatening illnesses. Only the healthy ones will be allowed on the slings,” he said.

Meanwhile Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association president Pornchai Jitnawasathien said “If we determine that the operator is at fault be it from defective equipment or negligent staff, we will take immediate legal action. This can be either a 15 day up to 30 day suspension or in the severest situation they may be forced to close permanently.”

Zip-line is becoming ever more popular among adventure tourists and every year there are no less than 300,000 visitors regularly using the 16 facilities spread out throughout Chiang Mai province.

More than half of these are Chinese tourists and although they are aware of the risks of accidents, Chinese tourists are still enthusiastic about the activity.

Most stated that they were confident in the increased safety standards now being put in practice.

The new safety standards that zip-line operators have adopted on their own initiative began to be widely used at the beginning of the year.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sport is drafting a new set of regulations to regulate the activity so as to provide a degree of confidence and safety for all users be they foreign tourists or locals.

In the long-run this will help to make zip-lining in Thailand a very safe activity. This will greatly support the country as a leading destination in the ever booming adventure tourism market, he said.

Source: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/content/155339

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-- Thai PBS 2016-03-16

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One of the improved safety measures is the preparatory practice to check the equipment prior to allowing tourists to use them.

"improved safety measures" as in never done before? Words fail me.

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Crikey, you mean that before no one was out early morning doing a daily inspection ! They have 5 year olds going on this thing!

I'm just blown over to learn "they have just adopted the international safety standards".

The three thousand dollar question would be who actually did the recent inspections to check they are up to international standards?

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Crikey, you mean that before no one was out early morning doing a daily inspection ! They have 5 year olds going on this thing!

I'm just blown over to learn "they have just adopted the international safety standards".

The three thousand dollar question would be who actually did the recent inspections to check they are up to international standards?

1. Is there an international safety standard?

2. Does the relevant government agency know what the international safety standard is? Do they have detailed information on this and is there a recommended timing for inspections, and is there a training or accreditation to be an inspector?

3. Will the relevant government agency inspect the equipment on both a planned (often) and unplanned schedule and will they use the international safety standard as their reference?

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One of the improved safety measures is the preparatory practice to check the equipment prior to allowing tourists to use them.

"improved safety measures" as in never done before? Words fail me.

Words are not failing you but the logic you use is very questionable as "improvement" does not suggest that there was nothing done before. As one close to one of the zip line ventures who watched it be built from scratch, I would say that many of the procedural improvements implemented over the past few months are increased redundancies in safety protocols and increased training for emergencies.

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Wow, 60 is too old? I am a fit 68 and still do basketball or running nearly every day. I think I would be safer than a 150kilo lard-arz 30 year old.

Not that I would want to go on a thai zip line anyway, improved safety or not :)

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I see this keeps making it to the forefront of CM 'news'. Wonder why? ermm.gif

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I see this keeps making it to the forefront of CM 'news'. Wonder why? ermm.gif

Must be courting new sponsors wink.png

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That is like saying there are now fewer rat droppings in our packed meats!

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One of the improved safety measures is the preparatory practice to check the equipment prior to allowing tourists to use them.

"improved safety measures" as in never done before? Words fail me.

Words are not failing you but the logic you use is very questionable as "improvement" does not suggest that there was nothing done before. As one close to one of the zip line ventures who watched it be built from scratch, I would say that many of the procedural improvements implemented over the past few months are increased redundancies in safety protocols and increased training for emergencies.

I should have made reference to checking the equipment prior to allowing tourists to use them. That was the intention of my post.

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Will safety standards be maintained long term,as with lots of mechanical

things here,Trains,Buses,trucks,just to name a few,are OK when new,

but soon deteriorate through lack of regular maintenance and checks,

which are expensive and time consuming,in the UK ,health and safety

officers would be making regular unannounced visits to places like this,

but in Thailand it seems to be left up to the operators.

regards Worgeordie

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Seriously people stay away from zip lines, elephant rides and moped hire... Have a nice long life

Sent from my SC-01D using Tapatalk

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