WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE AMUSEMENT PARK INDUSTRY
The cost of workers’ compensation insurance coverage runs about double for amusement parks compared to the cost of work comp coverage in general. The higher cost of coverage is reflective of a higher frequency of accidents. The coverage is available from insurance companies who specialize in this market for the amusement parks that are not large enough to self-insure.
- The large year-around amusement parks in Florida and southern California self-insure their workers’ compensation coverage.
- The year-around amusement parks have a large permanent workforce.
- Employees often wear costumes which are large and heavy.
Seasonal Employees are Often Teenagers or College Students
The workforce of permanent employees at seasonal amusement park tends to be small as they are opened only during warm weather months.
- The large majority of the workforce at warm weather amusement parks is seasonal employees.
- The seasonal employees are often teenagers or college students who have no understanding of workers’ compensation insurance and no loyalty to the employer due to the short duration of employment.
Amusement Park Safety Programs
Safety programs are a part of the risk management program of the large year around amusement parks.
- These amusement parks were built with the safety of the customers and staff in mind.
- The biggest physical hazards are ride machinery and slips from spills.
- The safety programs at the seasonal amusement parks vary in quality.
- Most amusement parks will have a first-aid office staffed with a nurse.
- This is primarily for the benefit of customers but also serves to provide medical care for minor work-related injuries that occur.
- Amusement parks are normally built in or near metropolitan areas where medical care will be available for more severe injuries.
Most Seasonal Employees Return to Work Quickly From Minor Injuries
Most seasonal employees will return to work as soon as they can if they receive relatively minor injuries, as they have a limited time to earn their income.
- The income benefit levels tend to be low for seasonal employees reflecting the low wages they earn.
- The income benefits for permanent employees will vary depending upon their level within the business.
Some categories related to amusement parks that would have the same or similar work comp issues include:
- Public swimming pools
- Bingo parlors
- Recreation centers
Transitional / Modified Duties in the Amusement Park Industry
Modified duty for Amusement Park employees is plentiful and can be found in a variety of positions at the park including:
|Ticket Taker:||Employees can sit/stand as needed at a ticket booth.|
|Food Service:||Sell food and beverage from a stand.|
|Concierge:||Direct customers to rides and attractions.|
|Clerical:||Work in office to count and record ticket sales.|
|Make Announcements:||Such as calling numbers at a bingo game.|
|Light Janitorial:||Employees can use a broom and long handle dust pan to clean up spills and litter.|