Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, October 12, 2012
Zipline Audit Report: State Cannot Improve on Industry Self-Regulation
By Selected News Articles @ 12:36 AM :: 4864 Views :: Energy, Environment

Sunrise Analysis: Regulation of Ziplines and Canopy Tours

Report No. 12-08, October 2012

Licensing ziplines and canopy tours adds little consumer protection

Ziplines have been used for more than 100 years to transport people and goods by use of a cable, a pulley, and gravity. More recently, the recreational industry has featured ziplines and “canopy tours” (guided transit of a forest canopy by means of ziplines) as a part of “challenge courses,” adventure activities often located high up on support structures or trees. The first zipline course in Hawai‘I opened in 2002. Today, there are 22 ziplines and canopy tours throughout the state.

In House Concurrent Resolution No. 118, House Draft 1, Senate Draft 1, the 2012 Legislature asked the Auditor to analyze Senate Bill No. 2433, Senate Draft 2 (S.B. No. 2433, S.D. 2) relating to challenge course technology and include an assessment of alternative forms of regulation. In our analysis of S.B. No. 2433, S.D. 2, we applied the Hawai‘i Regulatory Licensing Reform Act, Chapter 26H, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, which limits regulation of professions and vocations, not businesses such as zipline and canopy tour operators. The Legislature’s policy and criteria for assessing the merits of regulation require that those desiring the measure must provide the evidence supporting the case for engaging the State’s policing powers to regulate.

The proposed bill would require annual inspections performed by state elevator inspectors or private inspectors certified by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). Despite risks inherent in thrill rides, there was insufficient data of serious harm to the public to warrant regulation.

Evidence of abusive practices was anecdotal and mostly alleged by industry members against so called “wildcatters,” facilities that are not constructed and operated per industry safety standards and do not have sufficient insurance coverage. However, we found that all 22 businesses are required by their insurance agencies to provide annual inspection reports by insurer-accredited companies designated under industry standards as qualified challenge course professionals. As a result, the industry is basically self-regulating. In addition, the DLIR estimates that it would need $400,000 initially and $350,000 each year to create and maintain a self-sufficient inspection and permitting program. To fund such an operation, the department would have to charge each of the 22 operators an initial licensing fee of $18,000, as well as an annual fee of $15,000. The bill proposes an initial and annual fee of $100.

Based on 2009 insurance claims data from the company that insures 90 percent of Hawai‘i’s operators, ziplines had an injury/participant ratio of .00006. This ratio is lower than that of archery (.0006).

Potential Host Agencies are a Poor Fit

The DLIR was selected as a potential host agency because of its existing role in administering amusement rides as part of its elevator and boiler safety program. However, the department has a multi-year inspection backlog of 5,000 elevators and is not inspecting attractions that fall under its jurisdiction for amusement rides. Clearly, it is not capable of handling its current duties let alone another inspection program, especially without significant additional resources.

Moreover, the other proposed host agency, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), lacks the capability and authority to inspect accident sites, assessing cause and operator culpability in the event of significant accidents or fatalities. If S.B. No. 2433, S.D. 2, were enacted, it may create a false sense of safety for the public and raise the potential for liability to the State.

Agencies’ responses

The DLIR concurred with our analysis of S.B. No. 2433, S.D. 2. The DCCA opted not to comment on a draft of the sunrise report provided to it.

READ: Full Text of Auditor’s Report

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT