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Harnessing thrill-ride safety

July 23, 2017

Fast thrills

Fast thrills:  The Hair Raiser is Ocean Park's 88kph scream machine.

Safe hands

Safe hands:  The park's technicians, like Liu Ching-wing (right), ensure the screams are fun-filled by conducting daily safety checks.

Morning train

Morning train:  The technicians ride the rollercoaster every day before the park opens to look and listen for problems.

Professional pride

Professional pride:  Ocean Park Assistant Rides Maintenance Manager Yuen Siu-hin says technicians have a strong sense of responsibility to ensure visitor safety.

Thrill-seekers love the fun and excitement of an amusement park. But behind the scenes a lot of work goes into ensuring adrenaline junkies can go home safely after an exhilarating day of thrill-riding.


Liu Ching-wing has been responsible for the maintenance of the Hair Raiser rollercoaster for six years.


The Ocean Park Rides Maintenance Senior Mechanical Technician and his team work when the park is closed, examining the ride thoroughly.


"We need to conduct daily checks, including examining the wheels and screws. If we find signs some components may have loosened, we need to double check them.


"After the park closes for the day we also need to do general maintenance work, such as apply lubricating oil."


Ready to roll

The Hair Raiser is Hong Kong's first floorless rollercoaster. It can hit speeds of 88kph.


Mr Liu said morning shift technicians check the rollercoaster's cars, platform, rails, brakes, seats and safety harnesses.


They also test the rollercoaster every day before the park opens, looking and listening for problems.


"It should all sound normal when the ride is running. If I hear an unusual noise, or it sounds like something is loose, we need to re-check things."


Mr Liu studied in a Vocational Training Council mechanical engineering programme.


He first worked as a maintenance technician in a shipyard. His friend soon encouraged him to join the Ocean Park Rides Maintenance team.


Eighty-five technicians maintain the park's 22 rides, which are inspected daily. Additional checks are conducted on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.


Safety commitment

Ocean Park Assistant Rides Maintenance Manager Yuen Siu-hin joined Ocean Park as a technician 13 years ago.


During this time he has furthered his study, attending internal training programmes to become the maintenance department's assistant manager.


He said the park's technicians meticulously follow servicing requirements and have a strong sense of responsibility.


"Ride manufacturers provide maintenance guidelines. We regularly replace or repair components according to the guidelines.


"All of my colleagues are responsible people. Ocean Park is committed to ensuring the safety of its visitors and will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all to enjoy."

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