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Todd Shumansky
10-15-2006, 01:09 PM
Do you have any injuries in your haunts? It seems like some people freak out so much they are bound to injure themselves. I see a small number of people every year that come out of our haunts with small scrapes and cuts simply from running into walls and things. Do you see this also? If you do how do you handle it? Ignore it? Document every single incident?

Fortunately in 8 years we have never had to call an ambulance but we have sent a one or two people to the hospital to be checked out. If you have someone that is injured do you do follow up phone calls to see how they feel the next day? Do you offer them free tickets? A refund?

Lots of questions here, not many answers on Hauntworld. I searched injuries and safety in the forums and didn't find much. I hope this isn't because people ignore the public safety aspect of our business. Any help is appreciated!

Freak95
10-15-2006, 03:13 PM
well, our first year we had a girls finger cut off by a door. She put her hand up on the doorjamb, and when the door was slammed shut, it took her fingertip off right at the base of her fingernail. She didn't freak out or anything, but we had one of the police officers taker her, and her finger, to the hospital. We sent her a card and stuff the next day, and she came back the next year to see it again. lol But yeah, if they injure themselves, it's their fault. If they get injured due to an object or a person in your haunt, it's just good to check up on em and keep in touch. I wouldn't document every single cut and scrape though.

For the ones that puke, we just kinda walk em off and give em some water and stuff. The ones that urinate in their pants...well...we just laugh with em...sometimes at em. Can't do much about that. :D

HauntVentFX
10-15-2006, 10:40 PM
My very first experience at working for a (franchised) haunted hayride in Maryland back in the 1990's.

One night, nearly an entire wagon load of customer fell off the wagon (no pun intended) due to a lug nut coming loose from one of the tires. Upon further examination following the incident, it was shown that there was only one other lug nut holding the tire in place and all that weight caused the tire to pop off and at least 20 people fell to the ground. :shock:

The owner of the event was ultimately at fault for not seeing to it that the wagons were properly inspected. If they were, I am sure that it would have been seen that there was only two of the five lug nuts holding the wheel to the wagon!

Jim Warfield
10-16-2006, 12:32 AM
Sounds like the incident with a mini-train a haunt was operating. It was over loaded and rolled off the narrow little tracks, several arms were damaged. The owner tried to place the blame on the teenager driving the train. The teenager's Mother said "Oh NO!" the fault was with the train owner.
The Mother told me this story years ago.

HauntVentFX
10-16-2006, 07:25 AM
In the case of the wheel that popped off the hay wagon (or in general), the person who was assigned to inspect the wagons and tractors every afternoon didn't bother to check things out that day. And as a result, around 20 people fell off and some were injured.

It was ultimately the responsibility of the owner of the show to make sure that his customers were safe. Proper safety procedures were not followed and he got into big trouble with the state and county for operating what was and is considered an amusement ride (in the state of Maryland). If the wheels of that particular wagon were examined properly and it was noticed that only two of the FIVE lug nuts were holding it in place, I certainly would not have let that wagon be approved for operation.

bhays
10-16-2006, 07:50 AM
Something smells funny about that lugnut story. If someone inspected every afternoon and just missed that day.... three out of five lugnuts don't normally just 'come off' in a day's time...I think they must have had a little help..

HauntVentFX
10-16-2006, 07:58 AM
The former owner of that (local) haunted attraction had a history of not doing what was expected when it came to the safety of his customers. An investigation into this particular matter revealed that, although he claimed to have certain people in charge of safety and inspection of the tractors and wagons (the tractor drivers were responsible for examining and maintaining their own equipment), not enough was done when it came to the proper behind-the-scenes operation of the event. In an investigation conducted after the conclusion of the event, it was discovered that he cut corners whenever he could to save money on various things to the extent of going out of his way to purposely hide things from state inspectors when they came around for periodic inspections.

While it is entirely possible that "someone" might have purposely tampered with the lug nuts on that tire, if the owner would have had a DAILY safety inspection of all equipment as he originally said he had, then the incident would not have happened! For instance, the haunted attraction that I presently volunteer at has a daily safety inspection sheet that needs to be filled out and approved by the owner before the event opens to the public.

Jim Warfield
10-16-2006, 09:59 AM
...then there was the homemade wagon hauling 30 people up very steerp Cemetary hill for the ride through the graveyard...
When I first saw the design of this wagon it looked weak to me but it took three years to finally break. It could have been quite a thrill ride if the front of the wagon hadn't dug into the blacktop and skid to a stop , the wagon would have rolled backwards down a very steep street ("Mount" Carroll) for maybe 200 feet?
The design was sort of a "Gooseneck" design but instead of the hitch coming straight down into the pick up truck bed it went straight down to it's own front axle, then a chain was attached to the axle, so it was like pulling on a chicken wishbone, alot of leverage to break a weld at the top of the gooseneck.
"Safety Chains"? What are those? None used. They were VERY Lucky that night.
Nobody lives long enough to make (and survive) all of the mistakes possible, we must help our selves by learning from others.

HauntVentFX
10-16-2006, 10:04 AM
One thing that I forgot to point out about the incident where the wheel popped off the wagon that sent 20+ people to the ground....

Not one of the wagons that were used had sides to them. The riders that sat in the middle were OK but the ones who sat along the sides and the back had to dangle their legs out over the sides! So it was easy enough to simply fall off at any given time, especially when a scene was located on the opposite side from where the riders were facing! Several employees made mention of this to the owner of the event, but he ignored all of the warnings and suggestions.

bhays
10-16-2006, 10:34 AM
I have always wondered how folks who do hayrides design the wagon so that it's safe, but still leaves the riders 'exposed' to the scenes. The hayride idea has always been intrigueing to me, but always seemed like it would be difficult to 'involve' the customer in the scenes.

Ken Spriggs
10-16-2006, 10:51 AM
Well injuries.......if they asked for it we stand there and laugh at them!!!

No actually we had a few this weekend.

1 drunk dumbass threw his girlfriend at the chainsaw guy...then proceeded to hit the actor. Gee he should have spent the night in jail.
Someone misshandled that one......

BUT the girl who passed out from her friend headbutting her....that was pure stupidity....we called the bambalance and made sure they got her out of there.....

If it something small...give em a shirt
If it is something big...hope they don't take your shirt and everyone elses

Just a side note....if someone is doing a hayride and they don't check the whells everynight to make sure they have more than 1 LUGNUT....maybe just maybe they should hire a person to keep track of that stuff.

They are liable for the people on the wagon....they not only could have hurt the customers...but could have killed them.

Jim Warfield
10-16-2006, 10:17 PM
And if you killed a customer it would probably not be the one that you wanted to kill. Death just works that way sometimes.

Duke of Darkness
10-17-2006, 07:53 PM
While the risk of injury in a haunt and the potential to be sued can't be done away with completely, a few (relatively) simple steps can help to protect both you and your customers.

-- It starts, of course, with the design of the haunt. Design the haunt with safety of the guest in mind. Document the safety measures that you take.

-- Make sure that at least one person in each area is trained in CPR and First Aid. Document who on your staff is trained.

-- Have a written plan on how to deal with injuries.

-- Make sure that all injuries and subsequent actions taken are documented. Have a form for this purpose and people trained to get it filled out (usually managers or security).

-- For God's Sake, do NOT laugh or humiliate someone who is injured, even if it is through their own stupidity. This is begging for a lawsuit, and even if they have no hope of winning, you still have to pay to defend it.

-- Give managers the discretion to do what is necessary to placate angry customers, but don't give away tickets and merchandise to everyone who comes to you with a sob story. We have had many people come up with stories trying to get free tickets (I lost my tickets... the monster was mean to me.. etc.) and while it may seem easiest to just give in, word gets out and the requests multiply.

I know that all the documentation that I recommend seems like a lot of work, but I can tell you that such documentation can save your ass in preventing or defending lawsuits. Such is life, I'm afraid.

Dave

Freak95
10-17-2006, 09:02 PM
I totally agree...but can't we laugh at em if they pee in their pants...as long as they laugh a little? :)

HauntVentFX
10-18-2006, 05:16 AM
Well injuries.......if they asked for it we stand there and laugh at them!!!

No actually we had a few this weekend.

1 drunk dumbass threw his girlfriend at the chainsaw guy...then proceeded to hit the actor. Gee he should have spent the night in jail.
Someone misshandled that one......

BUT the girl who passed out from her friend headbutting her....that was pure stupidity....we called the bambalance and made sure they got her out of there.....

If it something small...give em a shirt
If it is something big...hope they don't take your shirt and everyone elses

[quote]Just a side note....if someone is doing a hayride and they don't check the whells everynight to make sure they have more than 1 LUGNUT....maybe just maybe they should hire a person to keep track of that stuff.

They are liable for the people on the wagon....they not only could have hurt the customers...but could have killed them.

HauntVentFX
10-18-2006, 05:19 AM
Just a side note....if someone is doing a hayride and they don't check the whells everynight to make sure they have more than 1 LUGNUT....maybe just maybe they should hire a person to keep track of that stuff.

They are liable for the people on the wagon....they not only could have hurt the customers...but could have killed them.

Actually, in the case of the haunted hayride I referred to, the owner of the event DID hire a person to keep track of that stuff. Each and every tractor driver was paid to do a job and one of those jobs was to inspect the equipment that was assigned to them.

Not only did both the owner of the event and the tractor driver in question have loose or missing lug nuts, they also had a screw loose (if you get my meaning) for being so irresonsible!

SSP
10-20-2006, 11:07 PM
The haunt I used to work at had a maze where one of the dead ends was a plexiglass wall with an actual path behind it. One night someone was scared so bad they ran fullspeed down the hall and...lets just say we had to redo the frame we attatched the plexiglass to...and the person was a little winded. I had to run to another part of the haunt for a second so he couldn't hear me laughing, but he was ok.

A brilliant idea the farmer had was on the hayride, the pin that locks the trailer to the tractor was on a string, so at a certain point in a field where the ground was level, he would pull the pin and start driving away. People would scream "HEY! HEEYYY YOU LEFT US WAIT IT CAME OFF WAAIITT" and at this point horses would circle the wagon giving you that feeling of being helpless. Brilliant.

but one night this went wrong...the field is in a valley, and the start of the path is on a downward slope. On night on the way down, the pin slipped out. I could screw with everyone and make up a horrible ending but luckily the wagon just rolled into the back of the tractor with a heavy thud, and they quickly replaced the pin and tossed the entire removablepin idea. A very close call considdering there was a river at the bottom of the hill. I don't know how there wasn't a huge disaster with this haunt...

Jim Warfield
10-27-2006, 12:30 AM
You needed a wagon with automatic brakes on it. When the tongue disconnects the brake turns on.
A local farmer bought such a wagon from a dealer 35 miles away(where the land is very flat) a wagon load of hay went busting through the woods on it's non-braked speedy way because the "Flat-Lander" has disconnected the wagons auto-tongue brakes.
This is called "Mount" Carroll for a reason.

nocshroud
10-30-2006, 11:32 AM
an eight year old kid got his ankle all twisted up when his father stomped all over him running from our saw this year , a rookie fell on the stilts last year and broke his arm , but my fav would have to be a saw room completely filled with smoke and a customer gets smacked in the face by one of the actors chainsaws , nobody saw that one coming

Todd Shumansky
10-30-2006, 02:57 PM
Considering someone that got hit in the face at your haunt your "fav" makes me consider you a disgrace to our industry. Our duty is to provide a safe atmosphere for all who attend. Being excited that someone got hurt does nothing more than make you and potentially the whole haunt industry look unprofessional.

Jim Warfield
10-31-2006, 01:15 AM
Look at a crowd of people waiting to enter your haunt.
How many of them look like they jog every day?
How many of them are already limping?
How many are definately overweight and won't be moving quickly for any reason?
Ever play contact sports? What happens when a large person runs over or falls on to a much smaller person? It isn't usually "pretty".
People get older they are not a physically agile and strong as they once were.
"No Running!" (When people run, they fall down)
"No running or we will put a saddle on you and rent you out for rides to people with whips."

TenFootReaper
11-14-2006, 11:58 PM
nocshroud said" rookie fell on the stilts last year and broke his arm "

As a stilt walker, I am amazed that you would have a rookie on stilts.

Jim Warfield
11-26-2006, 08:49 PM
We don't have stilts here but didn't I once read that the normal procedure with stilts in a haunted venue is to have another person not on stilts next to the stilted one to protect him from stilt grabbing, stilt shaking idiot customers?
Sounds good to me.

Empressnightshade
11-27-2006, 09:04 AM
Considering someone that got hit in the face at your haunt your "fav" makes me consider you a disgrace to our industry. Our duty is to provide a safe atmosphere for all who attend. Being excited that someone got hurt does nothing more than make you and potentially the whole haunt industry look unprofessional.
I tend to agree with Todd on this. I'm not sure why it's so funny to many when someone runs smack into a wall or post. And I don't just mean to those on this forum. My crew laughs at this also and quite frankly it's not in the least bit funny to me. That's pain your customer is experiencing and we all know very well what pain feels like. When they purchased their ticket, pain was not part of the price. I shrieked when one of the crew told me a mother because so scared that she accidently smacked her kid against a wall and drugged him across the wooden crosses and branches attached there to get away from a monster. A friend of mine went through my haunt one night and told me the next day that her and her friends were bruised on both sides from banging into walls trying to get away.

I'm very, very thankful that we have not had any injuries due to negligence on our part. I work very hard to make sure all is safe. Customers finding ways to injure themselves is just a necessary evil, but I'm not quite sure why so many of us find it funny.

Can someone explain this to me?

Jim Warfield
11-27-2006, 04:47 PM
Unfortunately alot of humor is defined this way.
If someone else gets hurt, it's funny , If we get hurt , it's a tragedy!
If you want a cheap laugh from an audience tell them how stupid YOU are and most will laugh. Same sort of psychology involved, I think?
Some portion of my brain feels very good about itself when I invent some extremely silly, non-sensical thing that makes no one the butt of the joke, yet is still something that most people can't stop laughing at.