There is no oversight by a regulatory body if commercial facilities that have manmade bodies of water. H.B. 457 would require the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, to establish licensing and safety requirements governing these enterprises, according to Hall.
The requirements adopted by the ODH would address the following activities:
- The design and construction of the facilities, including their components, appurtenant structures, and the surrounding areas;
- Licensing of the enterprises and inspection of their facilities;
- The number and positioning of lifeguards;
- First aid, lifeguard, CPR, and any other training that the owners of the enterprises must require employees to obtain;
- Any records that the owners of the enterprises must keep and maintain;
- Any safety equipment that the owners of the enterprises must maintain; and
- Any other rule governing safety that the director determines is necessary for the effective implementation of the above provisions.
Two days after the drowning, Brett Oakley, owner of Land of Illusion, hired an independent investigator to undertake an assessment and gap analysis of the park’s health and safety policies, procedures and programs.
The investigation, conducted by Dan Wood of Industrial Safety Services of Ohio, revealed no violations of law or regulations during the drowning, according to a release from the waterpark.
In November, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones announced no criminal charges would be filed against the waterpark after a thorough investigation by his office investigators and in consultation with the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.