The safety of people jumping off bridges is paramount for all bungy operators... they live and breathe it every day. But who safety checks their safety checks? We do.
Having previously been involved with other bungy jump organisations, Vertical Horizonz were uniquely placed to provide Taupo Bungy the level of quality independent testing demanded of those wishing to be registered on the internationally recognised Bureau Veritas Jump Master Register.
Taupo Bungy is considered one of the world's most spectacular bungy sites, featuring the world's first cantilever platform and New Zealand's first 'splash cam'. And at 47 metres, Taupo Bungy is New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy jump.
Taupo Bungy commenced operation in 1991, and since then more than 350,000 people from all over the world have taken the plunge.
They have an excellent safety record. With a clear emphasis on maximum safety whilst ensuring maximum enjoyment! Taupo Bungy has a well-earned reputation for safety standards and professionalism – which has been demonstrated by the 'S' mark - awarded for their commitment to safety. Taupo Bungy adheres to strict operating procedures and the 'Code of Practice for Bungy Jumping AS/NZS 5848:2000'.
As Height Safety champions, it was a no brainer for Vertical Horizonz to take on the job of assessing people jumping off platforms or bridges with cords tied to their ankles.
Safety requirements for Bungy Jump operations were formalised when NZ Bungy Jumping Federation created a bungy Code of Practice. A committee of over 13 companies in the industry assisted with its development. Out of this code of practice, as well as listing safety and design requirements, appeared the need for training and the need for a Jump Master.
A Jump Master is an expert with the experience and knowledge needed to oversee all jump operations, and manage the Jump Operators preparing customer to take the plunge. It is a requirement that a Jump Master be present on the jump deck for EVERY bungy jump.
Before being eligible to sit the Jump Masters exam an individual must produce evidence of not less than 250 hours, or 1250 jumps, of operation as a Jump Operator in the past three years.
To be registered as a Jump Master, an individual must pass an exam involving written, oral and practical elements. This assessment ensures the Jump Masters have a sound understanding of the requirements specified in AS/NZS 5848:2000, superior knowledge of the on-site operating manual, and be thoroughly up-to-speed with all the practical aspects of a bungy jump, to ensure the public can safely enjoy the thrills of bungy jump.
At Taupo Bungy last month, following exacting verbal and written examinations, both ‘Jump Masters’ were put through their paces by a uniquely qualified assessor as they conducted a number of live jumps under the close supervision of a registered Jump Master. Only then could Vertical Horizonz officially sign off and pass the individuals as Jump Masters, and qualify them to be added to the Bureau Veritas Jump Masters’ Register.
As a special thank you our assessor’s, Smithy and Keith, who got to ‘test’ the product (so to speak), as they were ‘thrown’ off the platform (safely of course) – both agreed it was a great way to end an extremely enjoyable day.
Vertical Horizonz would like to thank Taupo Bungy for the opportunity to assess the latest 2 Jump Masters and contribute to the safety of thousands of adrenaline junkies taking the plunge each year.