API Summer 2021

ZIPPING INTO RISKY TERRITORY RISK MANAGEMENT

Zip line collisions are the #1 cause of serious injury in aerial adventures. How can you prevent them and avoid injuries and legal liability?

By Charles R. (Reb) Gregg, Counsel to the Association for Challenge Course Technology

Zip line collisions. What causes them, and how do we reduce the exposure to claims and liabilities arising from them? In an earlier article (“People, Places, and Things,” Summer 2019), we examined several possible liabil- ity exposures. Here, we focus on zip line clients’ collisions with people and things. Operators, insurers, and attorneys all tell us that these gener- ate the greatest number of liability

claims in our industry.

claims, and legal liability.

Collisions and the law. Collisions, as we have noted before, are of many types and have many causes. A zip line rider may run into another per- son on the line. They may encounter objects, including a tree limb or piece of equipment. The rider may collide with the receiving platform and staff. These collisions can cause serious injuries,

Other than their frequency, why do these collisions deserve special atten- tion as we consider the safety of our visitors and our exposure to claims? First, collisions are obvious. Managers and lawyers may argue about contrib- uting causes, but there is nothing subtle about a zip line rider running into

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