What are the Rules for Trampoline Owners? (and Users) in Michigan
Trampolines are one source of fun for all ages.
As summer sets in, people are spending more time outside enjoying the nice weather. Both adults and children are spending more time participating in outdoor activities such as using trampolines. Trampolines are one source of fun for all ages.
However, in spite of their attraction, trampolines are the cause of countless injuries, especially for children.
The Rise in Trampoline Injuries
The number of serious injuries that occur from trampoline use each year is on the rise. An article in HealthDay News reported that over 100,000 emergency room visits are related to trampoline injuries each year in the United States.
And with a boom in trampoline sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of more families staying at home, that number is likely on the rise.
Common injuries that result from trampoline use typically include head injuries, severe fractures, dislocations, torn muscles, and sprains.
Looking at the increase of injuries, it is important that certain precautions and measures are in place to make the use of a trampoline safer. These safety precautions include supervising trampoline users, ensuring all springs are covered with padding, regularly inspecting the trampoline for holes or tears, and ensuring the trampoline is properly installed.
Safety Precautions for Trampoline Owners
An owner of a trampoline is required to properly maintain and supervise people using the trampoline, especially those who may not understand the risks, such as children and teens. Failure to properly supervise or failure to properly maintain a trampoline can result in an injury. In this situation, the owner may be held accountable for any injuries that result from his/her negligence.
In addition to home trampolines, indoor trampoline parks have become popular with people of all ages. When customers visit trampoline parks, they are required to sign a waiver, which is a legal document that attempts to bar a lawsuit against the trampoline park. These waivers generally include waiving the liability of negligent acts of the park’s employees or others that causes any injuries.
The Trampoline Court Safety Act
Michigan has the Trampoline Court Safety Act that outlines the duties and liabilities imposed on both trampoline parks and trampoline park users. The Act imposes duties on trampoline park owners.
The operator of the trampoline park must post the duties of the trampoline users and spectators, as prescribed in the Act. These duties must be posted in a conspicuous place. The following are the duties of the trampoline users listed in the Act:
- While in a trampoline court, a trampoliner shall do all of the following:
- (a) Maintain reasonable control of his or her speed and course at all times.
- (b) Read and follow all posted signs and warnings.
- (c) Avoid bodily contact with other trampoliners or spectators.
- (d) Not run on trampolines, over pads, or on platforms.
- (e) Refrain from acting in a manner that may cause injury to others.
- (f) Not participate in a trampoline court when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- (g) Properly use all trampoline court safety equipment provided.
The operator of the trampoline park must also post the duties, obligations, and liabilities of the trampoline park operator, as prescribed in the Act. Again, these duties must be posted in a conspicuous place. The duties, obligations, and liabilities of the trampoline park operator, as prescribed in the Act are:
- The operator of the trampoline park must comply with the safety standards specified in ASTM F2970 – 13, “Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts” published in 2013 by the American society for testing and materials. The operator of the trampoline court must maintain the trampoline court according to these safety standards as well.
- The operator of the trampoline park must maintain the stability and legibility of all required signs, symbols, and posted notices.
- The operator of a trampoline park must deliver instructions concerning trampoline court rules to trampoliners before they participate in the trampoline court. The instructions may be delivered to trampoliners using video, audio, or computer-based programs, a prerecorded spiel, a written document, signage, verbal instruction, or other delivery method approved by the operator.
- The operator of a trampoline park must convey to trampoliners the substance of the trampoliner’s responsibility requirements as stated in the Act.
More importantly, the Michigan Trampoline Court Safety Act states that if a trampoline park operator violates the Act, it is liable in a civil action for damages for the portion of the loss or damage that results from the violation.
The park employees typically do not monitor risky participant behavior. They rely upon the waivers that the customer signs to avoid any liability.