UG Role in Inspecting Amusement Rides

In the wake of the tragic death of Caleb Schwab last week on the Schiltterbahn Verruckt slide, the media has focused much attention on the role both State and Local government play in approving such rides. There is no State law calling for inspections of ride operations by State or Local governments. The Unified Government did play a role in approving the zoning and construction of Verruckt, but not in the way the ride was designed  or operated. Here are the steps used:
  • Plans from architects/engineers are submitted to the Unified Government.
  • The Development Review Committee reviews the plans.
  • The Development Review Committee consists of:
    • Urban Planning
    • Engineering
    • Building Inspection Department
    • BPU
    • Fire Department
    • Health Department
Each group reviews the plan to make sure the proposed building/structure meets all codes.
For example, Urban Planning looks to make sure the proposed building meets asthetic requirements such as  facade finishes, landscaping, etc. BPU reviews for electrical and water needs.
Once comments/required changes are suggested, the plans are sent back to the builder and the plans are modified if needed.
  • A building permit is then issued.
  • Once the structure is built, Building Inspections does an inspection to ensure the structural components meet requirements of the International Building Code. The UG will look at things like the safety of stairs and stair railings, the foundation and concrete.Third party inspections are required for structural welding and bolting. These are generally performed by a testing agency, as they have the specialized equipment and training.
  • UG Building Inspections inspect projects to ensure they are constructed according to the documents provided by the design professional (architect and engineers).
  • KCK Fire Department inspects to make sure life safety issues are met, such as smoke detectors, fire escapes and so on.
  • If all codes and requirements are met, a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
  • The Unified Government does not conduct inspections on water park/theme park rides regarding how the rides work or are operated. There is no State law or city codes which require this type of inspection…  The Unified Government only inspects to ensure the structure itself was built according to building code.

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