Paper: Amusement ride injury data in the United States

Woodcock, K., 2014. Amusement ride injury data in the United States, Safety Science 62, 466–474. Link

Amusement ride injuries are generally understood to be infrequent, but are notable when they occur. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of amusement safety is in the public interest and important for continuous improvement. This paper reports on an analysis of the amusement injury data collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for 2010. Inflatable sides and bounces are involved with at least 42% of amusement injuries, 56% of injured patrons are aged 15 or under, and females sustain 57% of injuries treated, predominating at all ages above 5. Relative risks for user categories or device types cannot be computed, as exposure data is inadequate. The source data also largely lacks adequate information about the injury producing events and specific equipment involved, which interferes with development of strategic safety improvement priorities. Improvements are needed at the point of data collection either through the existing system or development of a new data collection mechanism, or both.

Author: Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.