High safety standards at Europa-Park
Europa-Park is the market leader among German leisure parks and therefore it has to set good examples. For this reason, safety is one of the most important factors. With over three million visitors per year, the most important standard at Europa-Park is to guarantee the safety of each guest. With more than 100 attractions and approximately 100 million runs per season, this is a duty of great responsibility.
This means primarily, that the employees get intensive and regular trainings: an external firm provides them with a basic guideline training and in addition they get an internal introduction right at the respective place of work. Including any techical changes, the internal safety training is repeated each year.
All rides undergo regular safety inspections, according to the German DIN-standards for rides and attractions. In addition, the operator-staff and technicians check the rides daily. A safety engineer performs additional checkups. He also appoints special safety inspectors - at Europa-Park there are 16 of them - that are in direct contact with the employees, who are trained to recognize any defects or malfunctions immediately.
In co-operation with the "TÜV Süddeutschland" (Safety Standards Authority), the technical installations of the rides are inspected regularly. When building a new attraction, the TÜV is Europa-Park´s partner for optimum safety measures during the whole planning stage until the ride is functional. In coordination with Europa-Park´s safety enineer, the rides are put to the acid test already before they are put into operation. For example it has to be checked if the construction corresponds to the building regulations, if the attraction has been built correctly and with the proper materials and if it is safe to operate. Before the attraction is opened to the public, it is especially important to determine a maximum speed, to decide if it is allowed to children and handicapped persons to use the attraction or if the use should be subject to a certain age and height.
At Europa-Park, those restrictions are realized and pointed out to the visitors for example by means of measuring poles in the entrance areas of the faster rides. Even for small children this is a very vivid and understandable selection principle, which is usually accepted without contradiction.
The capacity of the attractions is impressive: in theory, up to 40.000 visitors can be transported per hour. In order to guarantee optimum safety, each attraction is controlled by an automatic warning system, which recognizes the slightest change immediately. It then activates an automatic brake system, that establishes a "safe state", which means that it stops the ride.
Regular training sessions are to improve teamwork and to prepare the staff for an emergency. If this should ever happen, a well-contrived emergency plan will be put into operation. At the same time, Europa-Park´s internal first aid station and fire-fighters, as well as the central office of the "German Red Cross" and the volunteer fire brigade in Rust will be alarmed. The technical emergency service will secure and remove all defects that may occur. Numerous trainings proved, that the emergency plan at Europa-Park is working. Those regular emergency trainings go almost unnoticed by the millions of people that visit Europa-Park each year.
"German attractions and leisure parks are considered to be the safest ones in the world, because of the regular safety checks and the strikt safety regulations," comments Europa-Park´s safety engineer. But of course, both he and the managers of Europa-Park know, that an emergency can never be excluded completely. For this reason, the family Mack has invested a large amount of money into safety standards at Germany´s biggest leisure park. Because when it comes to safety, no price is too high.