An Exterme Safety Factor

Saturday, September 3, 2005 6:52 AM
One day I was reading On Point, CP's blog. I was reading about the daily ride inspection of Millennium Force. I learned that once the inspector who climbs the lift everyday to inspect the cable lift, once you crest the 300 point mark and start to go down, at the end of the catwalk the is a switch that must be flipped once every 24 hrs. This will reset MF's computer system and if not flipped, the cable lift system will not operated. In general, this is an extreme way to show guests that the lift hill was properly inspected.

Now what I want to know what you think. Is this neccessary? I think so. I just goes to show you how Intamin AG and Cedar Point want to make sure that their ride is safe to operate every morning, even before sending a test train. My hat goes off tho CP and Intamin AG for insuring our safety.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 7:24 AM
What's to stop them from just going up and flipping the switch without inspecting it? . If you don't inspect it, does the switch start talking ...."Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?" I guess if I went all the way up I would just be like "ah hell with it I'm up here I might as well inspect it ;).

I didn't know such switched existed, and it doesn’t seem like anything other than a redundant safety feature. Switch or not, I’d trust CP Maintenance to go up there everyday and properly duct tape the cable :) *** Edited 9/3/2005 11:25:06 AM UTC by Joe E.***

Saturday, September 3, 2005 7:40 AM
How many times has that cable snapped now?

Im sure INtamin would blame fat people for that.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 9:02 PM
I have to agree that's a pretty stupid thing. So someone goes up there and flips it, then what? Typical Intamin over-engineering.
Saturday, September 3, 2005 9:12 PM
Yes, it is over-engineered. In this day and age with a lawyer begging you to sue someone every time you turn on the television, can you really blame them though?
Saturday, September 3, 2005 10:13 PM
Uh, yeah, I can blame them. Intamin's over-engineering hurts the reliability of the ride. They put switches on padlocked fences in low zones that kill the ride if they're not closed. Dragster had one of those switches go bad and it shut down the ride.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 12:17 AM
Safety comes before reliability. If proxies on lowzone gates could have prevented just one employee death on a coaster in the past, I'd say it would have been worth it.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 12:24 AM
Yeah, but what if someone opens the gate with the prox on it while the ride is stopped, and then closes it behind them?

There's a difference between dummy-proofing a ride and making it a pain in the ass to operate.

Also, on a pet peeve note...

My hat goes off tho CP and Intamin AG for insuring our safety.

Actually, UPMC insures my safety. CP ensures it. :)

Sunday, September 4, 2005 1:23 AM
Well, any time that the ride is powered on it should still throw a trouble light if a gate in a Kill Zone that is monitored by a prox switch is opened.

If it isn't done that way then I'd say it is rather pointless. Though, people just jump the fences anyhow. Put barbed wire on it. Oh wait...that didn't help either.

We have them in a few of our ride areas, but not in our ride perimeters. That seems like overkill. The gates around say, an S&S tower, or the gates leading to a catwalk on our Premier launched coaster have them, and yes they cause errors, and yes they are necessary.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 1:50 AM
But Joel is right... there is no real improvement to the safety of the ride. How stupid is my Dragster example? On media day, there were a couple of mechanics replacing an air hose in the area I mentioned while they were cycling trains. Totally pointless "safety" device.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 2:06 AM
Yeah, I agree. If it is there, there should be no way to override it. If the ride is restricted to the point where it needs that much security, there should be no one in the area while it is cycling. I would have told them that.

I may be a jerk to maintenance sometimes, but I just don't want to see any of them get killed, especially if I am operating because they said it was "Okay". Saving a little bit of time isn't worth the sacrifice of a human life.

Wow, I think thats the quote I use most when talking about work. Thats like the 4th time today.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 10:18 AM
Flipping a switch doesn't make the ride safe, nor proove anyone inspected the ride. With the gate example, if they can close the gate behind them to turn off the warning, what was the point? Machines and computers can never fix human stupidity.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 11:02 AM
Why do riders have to be inconvenienced (sp?) by pointless "breakdowns" just to save stupid people from themselves? I do NOT feel bad for someone that can't figure out that fast object + their head = pain. If you're stupid enough to enter a restricted area when the ride's in motion, you deserve what you get.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 11:02 AM
There's nothing like over-stressing safety and then still have as many accidents that have happened on Intamins'.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 11:29 AM
The one thing that the switch at the top of the lift does is to make sure that the mechanic isn't doing his inspection in the coffee shop.

That's really all it does. It proves that someone went up there. It doesn't prove that person did anything, but it proves someone went up there. It's no different from the rounds-switches you see in shopping malls and industrial plants, where the security guard goes around and turns key switches to prove he isn't sleeping. It doesn't mean he's accomplishing anything, but it proves he's at least walking around the building.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 1:13 PM
Is Intamin the only one that does things like that??? I have been in line for other coasters (B&Ms) when the ride went down and someone had to walk up the lift hill to reset a switch to get the ride back up and running.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 3:41 PM
Yeah, this is beeing done on MANY Coasters, not just MF.

It makes sense to a point... If one goes up, you might aswell inspect the track. Actually, it's hard not to. You'd have to walk up eyes closed. If they force technicias to walk up there, they WILL spot major things, and I'm sure they wouldn't just walk by...

Sunday, September 4, 2005 4:22 PM
I think you grossly underestimate how lazy people can be.

When I was an R.A. in college, I had to rounds a few times a night, including one after 2 a.m. After the round, you had to write it in the log book. I rarely walked the building on that late round. I just went down and signed the book and went to bed. *** Edited 9/4/2005 8:24:01 PM UTC by Jeff***

Sunday, September 4, 2005 5:00 PM
Fact, King Cobra at PKI used to go down about twice a hour due to some bogus censor, Ghost or whatnot. It got the to point that if it did it after 4pm they would just leave it shut down.

Why'd they get rid of it? Reliability that had nothing to do with how old it was.

With Technology comes more problems, You should have your basic blocking sensors and everything else should be gated or someones responsibility.

This is one reason Im hesitant on buying a hybird car. We run electric forklifts at work and it's always something small going wrong, Servo here, dirty contact there.


Sunday, September 4, 2005 7:33 PM
1. Peoples saftey should be a good enough reason to go up an inspect a ride, not some stupid switch.

2. Lockout/tagout of rides makes more sense then a gate sensors. It doesn't hurt ride reliablility, and if used properly is safer. Take Jeff's Dragster incident for example, they could not be working in a dead zone while the ride was running if the ride was locked out/tagged out properly.

Even still, no matter how you try and idiot proof something, it doesn't mean idiots will find a way around it.


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