KITV 4 News has learned zip line operations have no workplace safety regulations in Hawaii, unlike other amusement rides. Meanwhile, the state has launched a workplace fatality investigation following Wednesday?s fatal zip line accident on the Big Island.
The state's Occupational Safety and Health division has six pages of workplace safety regulations about amusement rides at carnivals, and fairs. Those rules set standards for everything from amusement rides? design and construction to electrical safety and assembly and dis-assembly as well as testing their loads.
But those standards do not apply to zip line operations in Hawaii.
"It's not regulated as an amusement ride because it doesn't have anything mechanical or electrical," said Audrey Hidano, Deputy Director of the state?s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Hidano said the zip line worker's death could prompt some regulation of the zip line industry, which has operations on all the major islands.
"But if there is enough interest in regulation then we would have to go to the legislature and then it would be a policy decision by the legislators," Hidano said, noting the state would still be mindful about over regulation of businesses.
State workplace safety inspectors will now interview witnesses and test the zip line equipment that collapsed as part of their workplace fatality probe, she said.
"The probe is to make sure it doesn't happen again. And also to make sure that the owner or the people that are working in the company did the installation of the zip line correctly, according to plans and specs," Hidano said.
The investigation could take about six months.
"Whatever we learn from this we will definitely put out some kind of announcement to other zip line owners to make sure it doesn't repeat itself," Hidano said.