Bungee Jumping Safety
Bungee jumping safety should be at the top of anyone’s priority list if they plan to engage in the extreme sport of bungee jumping. It’s not every day that someone jumps off of an object 100 or more feet in the air, attached only by a large rubber rope. There are many, many things that can go very, very wrong in bungee jumping. Bungee jumping safety is the art and practice of making the sport as safe as possible. This is especially true with commercial ventures that are open to the public. Such places may serve thousands of patrons every year. One fatality can be enough to put them out of business for good. They take bungee jumping safety very seriously … as well they should.
The first thing you should know about bungee jumping safety is that each organization or group that conducts bungee jumping is referred to as a ‘club’. It is important that you find out if the club you are jumping with is certified through some safety governing body. In most countries, there is a government safety organization that regulates public safety standards in various environments. In the United States, for example, we have OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, who oversees all workplace safety issues. In Great Britain, there is the Heath & Safety Executive (HSE), whose functions are very similar.
However, there is an organization devoted strictly to the safety of bungee jumpers everywhere. The organiztion is known as BERSA, the British Elastic Rope Sports Association. BERSA has put together a code of practice in conjunction with the HSE, as a standard for safe operations when conducting bungee jumps. While member clubs and companies sign up voluntarily to follow the guidelines, there is no legal requirement for those who decide not to.
Another aspect of bungee jumping safety is the actual equipment used in bungee jumping. While there is a variety of methods and equipment that can be used, regular inspection is important. It is highly recommended that each and every piece of equipment be triple checked after every single jump. After all, if one piece of equipment fails, it can cost someone their life. Most commercial operators do just that. Attachments at the platform are checked. The bungee cord itself is checked for any damage. Each jump is logged, as each type of cord has a known life expectancy. The weight of each jumper is checked, and usually written on one hand of the jumper, so it can be double-checked as well. Every detail and element of physics must be correct before a person jumps off of the platform. Once you jump, there’s no coming back – there can be no mistakes.
There are a number of injuries that can be sustained during a bungee jump. From minor bruising, to broken bones, to death, all of them can be prevented with proper bungee jumping safety. As in any extreme sport or occupation where there is no second chance, safety should always be the number one priority. Bungee jumping is no different.