Service safety

More and more leisure activities are being offered to consumers, allowing them to spend their time on extreme and less extreme activities. As a consumer, it is essential to know your rights and responsibilities when using different leisure services.

As a consumer, you have the right:

  • to receive a service that complies with the requirements and is safe for life, health, and property when used under the intended purpose, and has the characteristics which the consumer typically has a right to expect.

The service must comply with the established requirements. In the absence of specific conditions, the service's intended use must not endanger the consumer's life, health, or property.

  • to receive necessary and accurate information about the service offered (including information about the risks involved).

The information provided can be verbal and written (terms and conditions of use on a notice board, contract, etc.). The service provider must organize the provision of the information so that the service user can understand it. For example, if the users are children, the information should be provided in a more straightforward format and text/pictograms, also orally. 

If the service recipient feels that he or she wants to know more about the characteristics of the service, the conditions of use, or the contract to be concluded, he or she always has the right to ask. And the service provider must answer questions.

The information provided to the consumer must be in Estonian unless the consumer has agreed to it being delivered in another language. However, where the service is also offered to persons who do not speak Estonian, the service provider must also provide all safety information in a language that the recipient understands. 

  • obtain proof of service

If the service is paid for instantly (not by invoice), the consumer has the right to receive proof of the service provided either in written form (paper invoice, cheque, etc.) or, with the consumer's consent, in a form that can be reproduced in writing (e.g., by e-mail). 

If the service cost less than €20 and the consumer wants a document, he must ask for it himself. For a higher amount, the service provider is obliged to provide it without asking.

  • file a complaint

If the service provided does not comply with the contract terms, does not have the characteristics expected by the consumer, or if an accident occurs while using the service, the consumer has the right to complain to the service provider.

The consumer also has the right to complain if the service provider has made it clear, for example, in the contract or on the information notice, that the use of the service is at his own risk. The service provider is ALWAYS responsible for ensuring that the service meets the requirements laid down and is safe for the consumer's life, health, and property when used under the intended purpose.

It is important to remember that, as well as rights, every consumer has responsibilities:

Follow instructions and restrictions

To use the service safely, you must respect all the rules and restrictions. 

There can be a wide range of restrictions, e.g., height or weight limits, physical ability, medical condition, etc. The limits are not set to bully anyone but consider the risks involved in providing the service. For example, suppose a trampoline service provider has assigned a height limit for users. In that case, it wants to prevent the possibility of the user climbing on or over the trampoline's barriers, thereby avoiding the risk of falling and injury.

Compliance with the instructions will ensure the safety of the user and other users.

Know how to spot danger signs

Not all service providers may be able to analyze the risks associated with the service they provide. On the other hand, no matter how secure the services are made, accidents cannot be completely excluded.

Some recommendations to follow to help you have a safer time:

  • The service provider must be able to provide information about the service and its risks. If the service provider is unwilling or unable to give you the information you need, it is worth considering whether using the service is the best idea.
  • Failure to comply with the restrictions could leave you in trouble. For example, if an adventure trail allows users from 140cm tall, there is no point in talking taller users into shorter ones. They may have a hard time reaching the safety rope to attach themselves to every part of the trail.
  • Keep an eye on the condition of the rides. If they're worn/obsolete and dirty, it's an obvious danger point.
  • If protective equipment is offered, whether it is available in different sizes. Only the right size and properly installed protective equipment will provide protection.
  • Observe the condition of the protective equipment offered. Snagging ropes and harnesses are a danger point. Also, if self-closing carabiners and reels do not work properly, ask to have them replaced.

Know your abilities and respect the decisions of others

Not every leisure service may be within reach of every user, and health conditions may limit the service's use. It is therefore worth considering whether the service you are offering is affordable and appropriate. 

Many adventure services are related to overcoming fears (fear of heights, confined spaces, fear of the dark). It is therefore worth considering whether the service is what you want. The support of friends and family is welcome, but it is no longer the right thing to do if it becomes a form of pressure. However, the decision must be made by each service user. Stress can make the service less enjoyable for the user and can have serious consequences – you can forget even the simplest safety rules out of fear.

Likewise, suppose a service user feels unwell, exhausted, or over-estimates their abilities while using a service. In that case, they should inform the service provider immediately and, if possible, the service should be discontinued.

Last updated: 06.04.2021