Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ASTM Update

Recently I attended the ASTM International F-24 Committee meeting in New Orleans. Although I talk about safety standards and ASTM all the time, this was my first time actually attending a meeting—and I was in awe over not only the amount of work that got accomplished in such a short timeframe, but also at the talent and passion committee members have for the attractions industry.

More than 125 individuals from eight countries attended the F-24 committee meeting, which lasted three days. I personally attended meetings on water attractions, terminology, restraint systems, and a Canadian harmonization session, but there were many other meetings on topics such as ziplines, ropes courses, and challenge courses; fall protection; training, and certification; and, my favorite name for a task group: Gravity or Patron Controlled Non-mechanical Spherical Devices.

One of the highlights of the meeting was when Walt Disney Imagineer Mike Withers was presented with ASTM’s highest award, the ASTM Award of Merit. Mike is only the second member of the F-24 committee to receive this honor, which makes him a “Fellow” of the ASTM society. I have worked with Mike regularly during my time at IAAPA, and can personally attest to why he is deserving of this award, but I think the Awards Task Group’s nomination remarks describe Mike’s talent and passion so much better:

“[we] nominate Mike for this award for his technical expertise combined with his engaging personality, his reputation for integrity, fairness and openness, and his unique ability to solicit compromise between opposing views that have led to increase the standing and relevance of Committee F24 and ASTM in the global marketplace. The work that he has shepherded, participated in or successfully incorporated in regulation has set the bar for safety that will allow for countless happy experiences for generations to come. His contributions have made ASTM the leader in standardization in our industry and have helped us all to address our single most important responsibility – safety.”

The next ASTM F-24 Committee meeting will be held Oct. 13-15, 2011, in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Valley Ho Resort. If you are passionate about safety in the attractions industry, you should definitely check it out. Membership on ASTM Committee F-24 gives you the opportunity to work with industry and technical experts from around the world in the premier ASTM standards development forum. You’ll help craft the standards that support the global amusement ride industry and promote safety for ride and park visitors everywhere.

For more information on the fall meeting, or becoming a member of the F-24 committee, check out ASTM International’s website.

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