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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 4175 | Climbing Facilities

Section 4175.01 | Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Climbing facility operator" means a person who owns, manages, controls, directs, or has operational responsibility for a climbing facility.

(B) "Climber" means a person in a climbing facility for the purpose of recreational or competitive climbing. "Climber" includes any person entering a climbing facility as an invitee, whether or not the person pays consideration to enter.

(C) "Climbing facility" means a facility or premises used by the public not located in an amusement park, carnival, or on public land designed and built for the sport of rock climbing, recreational climbing, or competitive climbing, including ascending, descending, and traversing over simulated rock surfaces that use belay systems in their normal operation.

(D) "Floor supervisor" means an employee of the climbing facility who has responsibility for all of the following:

(1) Observing, supervising, or monitoring activity in the climbing facility;

(2) Instructing or assisting climbers in the climbing facility;

(3) Enforcing the climbing facility's rules.

(E) "Personal protective equipment" means clothing, garments, harnesses, or other items designed to protect a climber from injury while rock climbing.

(F) "Spectator" means a person who is present in a climbing facility only for the purpose of observing recreational or competitive climbing.

Section 4175.02 | Legislative findings.

The general assembly finds that the sport of rock climbing is practiced by a large number of Ohio citizens, provides a wholesome and healthy family activity that should be encouraged, promotes physical fitness, and significantly contributes to the economy of this state. The general assembly further finds that the sport of rock climbing contains both inherent and other risks that can be hazardous to climbers and that those other risks should be managed. Therefore, defining the duties and responsibilities of climbing facility operators and climbers is in the public interest.

Section 4175.03 | Requirements for facilities.

Each climbing facility operator shall do all of the following:

(A) Maintain a policy of liability insurance in accordance with section 4175.08 of the Revised Code;

(B) Comply with all manufacturer instructions and requirements regarding the manufactured climbing wall, including the operation, inspection, repair, modification, or replacement o f the wall or a component of the wall;

(C) Comply with all manufacturer instructions and requirements for use of climbing facility-owned personal protective equipment, including the operation, inspection, repair, modification, or replacement of the personal protective equipment;

(D) Post rules and warnings for climbers and spectators. The rules and warnings must be clearly legible and be in a conspicuous location in the climbing facility.

(E) Conduct an orientation of the climbing facility for all climbers. The orientation shall contain a notice of climber responsibility as described in section 4175.05 of the Revised Code.

(F) Maintain the walls, flooring, anchors, holds, ropes, connectors, and facility-owned personal protective equipment in serviceable condition;

(G) Conduct criminal history inquiries of all individuals eighteen years of age or older who seek employment for the positions of manager, assistant manager, instructor, route setter, coach, assistant coach, or similar positions. The climbing facility owner shall require each applicant for employment in these positions who are eighteen years of age or older to provide consent to a criminal records check, in accordance with section 109.572 of the Revised Code, as part of the applicant's application for employment. The bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall comply with a criminal records check made pursuant to this section.

(H) Maintain sufficient staffing to control access to the facility, supervise the facility during its hours of operation, a nd provide emergency assistance as needed;

(I) Maintain sufficient records for the operation of the climbing facility, including:

(1) A record of all purchases of facility-owned personal protective equipment;

(2) A record of all inspections, maintenance, or repairs conducted on the manufactured climbing wall, excluding holds;

(3) A record of all inspections on facility-owned personal protective equipment.

(J) Comply with all applicable state and local building, fire, and zoning requirements ;

(K)(1) Conduct inspections of the manufactured climbing wall per the manufacturer's instructions or every four years, whichever is sooner;

(2) The inspection shall be conducted by either of the following:

(a) The manufacturer or the manufacturer's representative;

(b) A licensed professional engineer.

(3) Evidence of such an inspection shall be filed with the department of commerce.

Section 4175.04 | Requirements for employees.

(A) Climbing facility employees shall have adequate knowledge of the following:

(1) The manufactured climbing wall, including any requirements of the climbing wall manufacturer or the climbing facility owner or operator;

(2) The facility-owned personal protective equipment prior to use, including the equipment manufacturer's instructions ;

(3) The location of all safety equipment, such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and the nearest telephone for routine or emergency service ;

(4) The climbing facility's emergency procedures.

(B) Climbing facility employees shall perform a daily pre- use visual inspection of the climbing facility.

(C) The climbing facility floor supervisor shall do all of the following while on duty:

(1) Be in a position to observe the facility;

(2) Monitor activity in the facility;

(3) Assist climbers in meeting the responsibilities for climbers established in section 4175.05 of the Revised Code;

(4) Issue warnings, reprimands, or penalties to climbers for violations of section 4175.05 of the Revised Code.

(D) No person shall act as a floor supervisor unless the person has received the training appropriate for the duties established in division (C) of this section.

(E) No climbing facility employee shall work at the facility while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Section 4175.05 | Acknowledgment of risks; requirements for climbers.

(A) Each climber acknowledges that there are inherent and other risks associated with participation in the sport of rock climbing. Each climber accepts the inherent and other risks of climbing, of which a reasonably prudent person is aware.

(B) Each climber shall comply with all of the following:

(1) Read all warnings and obey all rules of the climbing facility;

(2) Obey all written and oral warnings and instructions of facility staff;

(3) Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for use of personal protective equipment;

(4) Prior to each use, inspect any personal protective equipment used by the climber, and replace the equipment as needed and according to the manufacturer's instructions;

(5) Refrain from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of the climber or any other person;

(6) Exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while climbing.

(C) No climber shall climb while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Section 4175.06 | Assumption of risk; liability.

Climbers have knowledge of and expressly assume the risks and legal responsibility for any losses that result from any of the following:

(A) Falls and crashes into the climbing wall, holds, rocks, or other obstacles;

(B) Risks associated with crossing or climbing up or down;

(C) Equipment failure;

(D) The climber's physical strength, coordination, sense of balance, and ability to follow or give directions while climbing, belaying, lifting, or spotting;

(E) Fatigue, chill, or dizziness;

(F) The actions of other individuals, which are not attributable to a breach of the climbing facility operator's duties under section 4175.03 or 4175.08 of the Revised Code.

Section 4175.07 | Construction; contributory fault.

The express assumption of risk established in section 4175.06 of the Revised Code serves as a complete defense against liability in a tort or other civil action against a climbing facility operator by a climber for injuries resulting from the assumed risks of climbing enumerated in that section. The contributory fault provisions of sections 2315.32 to 2315.36 of the Revised Code do not apply unless the operator has breached the operator's duties under section 4175.03 or 4175.08 of the Revised Code.

Section 4175.08 | Certificate of insurance.

(A) The owner of a climbing facility shall file with the department of commerce a certificate of insurance evidencing that each climbing facility owned by the owner has liability insurance in effect with an insurer authorized or approved to write such insurance in this state.

(B) The insurance policy required by division (A) of this section shall provide coverage in the following amounts:

(1) Not less than five hundred thousand dollars because of bodily injury or death of one person in each occurrence;

(2) Not less than one million dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in each occurrence.

(C) The insurance policy required by division (A) of this section may include a deductible clause, provided that any settlement made by the insurance company with an injured party or the injured party's legal representative shall be paid as though the deductible clause did not apply.

(D) Each policy, by its original terms or an endorsement, s hall do both of the following:

(1) Obligate the insurer that the insurer will not cancel the policy without thirty days' written notice and a complete report of the reasons for such cancellation being given to the department;

(2) Obligate the insurer that the insurer will, within twenty-four hours, report to the department if it pays a claim or reserves any amount to pay an anticipated claim that reduces the liability insurance coverage to a limit of less than one million dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in each occurrence.

(E) If the insurance policy is canceled during its term or lapses for any reason, including coverage reduced below the required amount, the owner shall replace the policy with another policy fully complying with the requirements of this section prior to permitting a climber to use the climbing facility.

(F) If the owner fails to file a certificate of insurance for new or replacement insurance, the owner shall cease all operations under the permit immediately upon the cancellation or lapse of the insurance and further obligations shall not be conducted without the specific approval of the department, which shall be given after the owner has complied with this section.