Amusement Ride Water Slide

The DRA approach to Amusement Rides within Australia, Part 2

Annual Inspections of Amusement Rides

The Regulator requires that every operator of a ride have an annual inspection performed by a competent and qualified engineer to ensure that it has been maintained and operated to the OEMs and AS/NZS 3533 standards. There are specific criteria within the Regulation which must be assessed by that Engineer.

The criteria are as follows:

  • That the operational history since the last annual inspection has been checked.
  • The amusement ride logbook is up to date.
  • That maintenance and inspections have been undertaken and recorded within the logbook.
  • That non-destructive testing and other tests have been conducted and records are maintained.
  • Electrical inspections in accordance with AS3533.3 clause 11.4.3 have been conducted and there is an electrical statement provided by a qualified person stating compliance with that requirement.

The annual inspection requirements, although specified in legislation, are completed differently by the various engineers in the industry. This lack of consistency is concerning, and it is the Regulators responsibility to audit these reports to determine whether the Engineer has completed the task competently. In the case of DRA, a detailed report is developed which is 80% auditing of records and 20% inspection of the ride. For a large class type 5 roller-coaster, two days for two engineers may be required to complete the inspection and report and with a smaller class type 2 merry-go-rounds, a half to three-quarters of a day will be required. Issues that are recorded and reported in DRA reports are as follows:

  • Full review of the logbook including all items recorded for the past 12 months.
  • An asbestos register review and review of flammability tests of materials (if applicable).
  • An audit of instruction and training for operators of the amusement ride.
  • An audit of training and assessment of maintainers of the amusement ride.
  • A review of all maintenance records that have been completed and authorised appropriately.
  • A review of any repairs and alterations that have been made to ensure that engineering principles have been followed and engineering signoffs completed where required.
  • That a critical components list has been developed and reviewed including the development of non-destructive testing requirements.
  • A review of the NDT records developed by the testing authority.

Once the information has been identified and recorded in the report, the inspection of the ride is conducted during its operation along with the performance of the daily inspection with staff. The report will then include the following elements:

  • That the ride is operated as per the manufacturer’s requirement.
  • That the patron restraints are effective, and the loading plan is followed.
  • A critical inspection of key elements of the ride i.e., envelope intrusions, suitable foundations, patron access, controls, interlocks operational, signage is clear etc.
  • Emergency plans are current and staff records are available for training in those procedures.
  • Noise level assessments have been completed at least one every 5 years and appropriate control measures taken.
  • That all electrical equipment is compliant with standards with no double-adapters, RCD protection is in place, switchboards are well labelled etc. An electrician will be required to provide a report that they have inspected the ride and it complies with the electrical requirements detailed in AS3533 Section Clause 11.4.3
  • Control systems function as designed and a full functional test is conducted.

This report with recommendations for continuous improvement is provided to the owner and a summary report in a one-page format is provided to the Regulator for registration purposes. Unfortunately, as the above process is not mandated by Regulation, some engineers may only provide an inspection of the key elements of the ride. This creates an unlevel playing field for engineers, as the diligent engineer who ensures the ride is being operated and maintained safely cannot compete effectively with an engineer that gives the ride a quick visual inspection and certificate.

In the past, the Regulators (who should be ensuring standards of inspection are maintained) would generally only look for the logbook entry that an annual inspection has been completed by an Engineer without any consideration of the completeness of the inspection process. In recent times, the Regulator, during their inspection of amusement rides, have demonstrated that they review the annual inspection report provided by the engineer to ensure it is complete with appropriate electrical signoffs and covers off the elements detailed above with evidence provided. If no report is available to back up the annual engineering certificate, then the Regulator can prohibit the ride from operation.

For more information around the Amusement devices including Inflatable device Inspection, Safety Case development, Engineering Consultants in the Amusement Industry, please consider the following pages on the topics.

Our qualified and certified RPEQ Engineering Consultants that can assist you in your business.

DRA Engineering support is provided by qualified and skilled Engineers on hand including David, Rhys, Sina, Jack, Mitchell and Ryan. The team is to ready to assist you with your engineering questions, including Amusement Devices.

For some additional information relating to the inspection processes please read this article on Amusement Rides and Devices.

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