The DRA approach to Amusement Rides within Australia, Part 3
There is now a legislative requirement in QLD for major inspections to be conducted every 10 years or upon recommendation of the consulting engineer. For a mobile amusement ride, a 10 yearly inspection will require the ride to be completely dismantled and all components inspected, repaired or replaced as required. In many cases, this will require the ride to have its basic structure abrasively blasted, full non-destructive testing completed on all welds and repairs made before being reassembled.
This process if completed properly will ensure any potentially hidden defects which are not detected during annual inspections can be addressed to ensure continued safe operation.
An annual inspection certificate cannot be issued by an inspecting engineer if a major inspection has not been completed in the past 10-year period and hence the amusement ride cannot be registered and therefore not be operated.
In other states and Territories, this requirement is not mandated by Regulation but as the major inspection requirements are detailed in AS3533.3 and this standard is referred to in the Code of Practice – Managing the Risks of Plant, the requirement to comply is a “should”. A ride operator would be hard pressed to prove due diligence if an incident with their device occurred and the major inspection had not been completed.
Legislate the requirement for all amusement devices in all states/territories to undergo the 10 yearly major inspection as is required in QLD
Amusement Rides Inspection by Competent Qualified Engineers
The legislation in each State requires the person performing the inspections to be competent, i.e., possess the skills and knowledge to perform the task, but this is self-regulatory. There is no requirement for engineers to demonstrate their competency to perform inspections of amusement devices. An engineer in QLD must simply be a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) and will be able to conduct inspections and sign off rides with minimal knowledge of the ride complexity. To practice in this area, it is a requirement for the engineer to hold valid professional indemnity coverage in the area they practice, and very few ride operators check the validity of the engineer’s insurance.
It should be standard practice for all amusement device operators to request a current copy of the engineer’s insurance policy and check that it covers amusement devices, has $10 million coverage and is covered by a reputable company.
Within the Board of Professional Engineers Qld there is an area of specialist classification for inspection of amusement rides and devices, but the requirement to hold this area of competence is not yet mandated. Unfortunately, being a new category of classification, the criteria for the competency assessment is still in development.
Recommendation for Engineers and Amusement Rides
The Board of Engineers develop assessment criteria and experience requirements for entry into the professional area of “Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices”. The Board of Professional Engineers require the engineer to provide a copy of their professional indemnity insurance as evidence as part of their application and the Board checks it covers the relevant area of practice.
Australia has very detailed legislative requirements for the operation and maintenance of rides to ensure public safety. Regulations apply to both fixed and mobile rides and are enforced by the Regulators of each state and territory. Harmonisation of the legislation across Australia has ensured a consistent standard, however there is still variations that need to be addressed.
The Engineers inspecting the rides are inconsistent with their approaches to annual and major inspections, and this inconsistency can lead to key inspection criteria being missed resulting potentially in accidents. Any accident is bad for all operators in the industry and hence standardization of the inspection process, regular audits of the inspecting engineers by the Regulator and better assessment requirements for inspecting engineers coming into the industry could only improve the current situation.
The DRA Engineers are specialists in the Amusement Device world through being members of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Being the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. The Engineering Consultants have also attained and maintained engineering certification of RPEQ to the Board Of Professional Engineers Of Queensland. Drawing on over 25 years of experience working with the owners and maintenance teams of fixed and mobile amusement devices to develop programs for confirmation Amusement Device Certification.
Where required our Engineering Consultant will complete inspections with the use of our drone to reduce turnaround time and reduce costs from eliminating the need for expensive scaffolding and or elevating work platforms to complete the inspection.
Our qualified and certified RPEQ Engineering Consultants that can assist you in your business.
Our team of Engineers on hand, David, Rhys, Clinton, Mitchel and Ryan are available to assist with any question relating to Amusement Devices. For some additional information relating to the inspection processes please read this article on Amusement Rides and Devices.
We also offer a range of WHS consulting services along with general and specific health and safety training courses.
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