Amusement Device Inspections

Amusement Device Inspection

Millions of families across the world go on vacations to locations filled with amusement rides to thrill and excite the senses. Rides of various types from each of these locations compete to attract visitors to these parks along with other boutique rides designed to captivate the thrill seekers to try them out.

These rides or amusement devices are mechanical electrical and sometimes hydraulic driven, requiring specialist care in maintenance and servicing to maintain them to the peak performance and safety that the designers envisaged. Legislation has been introduced in many countries to provide specific guidance on the benchmark for this maintenance and servicing to assist in improving the experience for the visitors and reduce the risk to them. Whilst still maintaining the thrill of the ride.

In Australia we have had some incidents and the regulators have made decisions following a Best Practice Review to raise the bar even further. In Queensland specifically there are very stringent rules on the systems and supporting documentation that must be in place establishing the safety processes in place. This documentation is to ensure that not only the designers’ specifications are met but that additional requirements are in place to provide yet a higher level of ride protection. The Amusement Device Inspections are in place to prove this process.

The three recommendations that were introduced in Queensland to improve amusement device safety include
• mandatory major inspections for amusement devices;
• that competent persons be nominated to operate specified amusement devices and details of statutory notices be recorded in amusement device logbooks; and
• a requirement for theme parks to prepare a safety case and the application of a licensing regime similar to the safety case regulatory model that applies to major hazard facilities

What are Amusement Device Inspections for

These amendments to the legislation were primarily intended to put systems in place to prevent fatalities and serious injuries in the future because of improved safety standards. It was also intended that it will likely increase patronage at theme parks because of improved public confidence. With the additional focus on the Amusement Device Inspections, Amusement Parks are having the inspections completed to prove the maintenance and servicing is being completed to the legislative requirements.

Most of the recommendations relating to legislative amendments were given effect through the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017, passed by the Queensland Parliament on 16th October 2017 and assented to on 23rd October 2017. Amusement Parks have taken on the task and completed these Amusement Device Inspections along to prove that their processes have been completed to the required standard.

Queensland Government is also considering the development of a code of practice, to support the changes in the legislation. Where the code of practice may include provisions relating to training delivery, identification cards for ride operators and publicly displayed certificates on rides.

Now other Amusement businesses have become part of the heightened level of compliance to demonstrate they are also completing their duty to provide a safe place for the patrons and riders. Amusement ride owners travelling around the show circuit and school fairs are also be required to keep detailed individual ride log books, and complete inspections but not as stringent as the Amusement Device Inspections, that must include:

– The name of trained ride operators and training details
– Major inspections details of the ride, including results of the inspection and what repairs have been made
– Any statutory notices issued by WHSQ in relation to the ride.

These changes will ensure this important information is readily accessible to WHSQ Inspectors, engineers who audit agricultural shows, and organisers of school fairs and local shows.

Our team of engineering and Safety Consultants have been providing assistance to the Amusement industry for over 25 years and more recently completing the Amusement Device Inspections. If you are after more information on our services or interested in discussing your situation relating to Amusement Devices please contact us.