To protect consumer rights, the Executive Yuan’s Department of Consumer Protection (hereinafter referred to as the DCP) has conducted a joint inspection on 20 climbing gyms and trampoline parks. The results showed that 18 failed to pass the check for the safety management of facilities and equipment; 3 failed in the standardized contract for gift certificates; 3 failed in environmental safety management. The relevant competent authorities of the local governments have been requested to deal with the non-compliant operators according to law and urge them to improve the situations as soon as possible.
The public sports facilities and privately owned and run sports venues have become popular in recent years. Among them, rock climbing and trampoline bouncing are two emerging sports, which are more dangerous than other sports with many accidents taking place in other countries. To better understand the status of the climbing gyms and trampoline parks, the DCP worked together with the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education (hereinafter referred to as the SA) and the relevant competent authorities of Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taichung City, Kaohsiung City and Hsinchu County to conduct joint inspections on those sports venues from the end of July to mid-August 2019.
The failure cases were found as follows:
I. Failure to meet the safety check for facilities and equipment: 18 venues
- Those which tried to limit or waive the operators’ liability for damages to consumers or third parties by way of pre-arranged agreements in writing, verbally or otherwise: 12 failure cases.
- Failure to mark evacuation plan, safety slogans, usage rules and safety standards, safety measures, precautions and emergency handling procedures at the entrances and exits of the venues and/or appropriate traffic flows: 4 failure cases.
- Damage or exposure seen on the on-site equipment: 4 failure cases.
- Not enough personnel to monitor each area of the site at any time: 2 failure cases.
- No plans for maintenance, repair, and renewal of equipment and facilities: 4 failure cases.
- No public liability insurance or insufficient coverage: 4 failure cases.
II. Check results on standardized contract for gift certificates: only 3 venues issued gift certificates, but all of them failed to meet the requirements.
- No record of the issuer's name, address, tax ID numbers and name of the person in charge; no denomination of the gift certificates or no mention of items to be used and in how many times; no gift certificate issue number; no instruction on how to use: 2 failure cases.
- No performance guarantee: 3 failure cases.
- No mention of how to deal with consumer disputes: 3 failure cases.
III. Check results on the environmental safety management: Among the 12 venues that have drinking water equipment, 3 failed to pass the test.
- Indoor air quality: Except for one untested, all the others passed the test.
- Failure to conduct maintenance at least once a month by the venue itself or by a professional organization, and no detailed content of each maintenance posted in the maintenance record form: 2 failure cases.
- Failure to regularly check the water quality status: 3 failure cases.
- The water quality inspection and equipment maintenance record for each drinking water equipment was not placed in an obvious position on the equipment: 2 failure cases.
The inspection results were reported to the CPC’s 63rd meeting and the CPC chairman instructed that the safety deficiencies in the facilities and emergency facilities of the climbing gyms and trampoline parks must be listed as the top priority for the SA to handle. As for related measures, for example, the SA is requested (1) to revise the scope of application of the National Sports Act to enable it to be applied to both the government-established and the privately-established sports venues; (2) to set safety standards for dangerous sports so that the operators and consumers can follow; (3) to gradually coach the sports venues offering professional or dangerous sports items to employ staff with relevant licenses; (4) to draft the mechanism in which professional third parties are hired to conduct inspections on the sports venues.
In addition to requiring the relevant authorities to improve the deficiencies found in the check, the DCP also reminds the public to pay special attention to the following matters when shopping in the climbing gyms, trampoline parks or other sports venues:
- One should definitely read the safety regulations of the sports venues or obey the safety instructions by the on-site personnel so as to avoid causing injury to oneself or a third person.
- One should not use sports facilities when one is ill or takes medication or drinks alcohol.
- One should pay attention to whether the sports venue personnel have relevant sports licenses, and whether the sports venues have bought public liability insurance.