Amusement Rides, inflatable amusement deviceThe DRA approach to Amusement Rides within Australia, Part 1


Although Australia is not a major manufacturer of amusement rides or devices, there are strict legislative requirements in each state and territory regarding the manufacture, operation, and maintenance of amusement devices. AS/NZS 3533 Amusement Devices and Attractions series was developed as a guide for the requirements for managing amusement devices. In some states, this guide is mandatory, such as South Australia an until recently Western Australia, as it is referred to within their legislation and in other states and territories, it remains a best practice model as it is referred to in Codes of Practice which are again enforceable by law.

There are various requirements imposed upon users and importers of amusement devices and these are summarised these across a 3-part series. The three parts should be read to gain a better understanding on our approach to Amusement Rides in Australia.

Amusement Rides / Device Registration

For amusement rides to be operated in Australia, they must have a design registration number. To get a design registration number, the purchaser must have the ride independently verified that the ride is compliant to the standard to which it was manufactured. In Australia, we can use European, Australian or American standards as the reference documents. To achieve design verification, the process should be that the owner engages registered professional engineers within each discipline to review the various functions of the ride.

In most cases, the following engineering professionals will be required:

− A safety engineer to review the overall compliance of the ride against the relevant standard to which it was manufactured. The safety engineer will be a qualified engineer in a discipline such as mechanical engineering with an auditing and safety qualification.

− A mechanical engineer to review the design of the mechanical components using finite element analysis modelling to ensure appropriate factors of safety have been achieved in the design.

− A structural engineer will be engaged to determine the appropriate foundations for wind loading and that the structure is suitable for the loads imposed upon it during operation. This is a verification against the designer’s specification.

− A control systems engineer will be engaged to ensure the control systems are compliant with the relevant standard. Significant work has been undertaken by the Regulator to ensure that any ride over 10 years of age has had its control systems reviewed to bring them up to current requirements.

− An electrical engineer will be engaged to ensure that all electrical wiring and circuits are compliant with local regulations which refer to AS/NZS 3000.

As part of the process the DRA Safety engineer develops the following documents to ensure the maintenance requirements of the ride satisfy both the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and AS3533 requirements.

  • A critical components list (a component that if it fails will lead to damage of persons or property) with full non-destructive testing (NDT) requirements detailed for the user.
  • Restraint risk assessments to ensure the restraint complies for the acceleration forces experienced within the ride. This is a critical assessment, as failure to comply will prevent the ride from being granted design registration and thus operation in Australia.
  • Inspection checklists based on the OEM and AS3533.3 requirements. If variations from the OEM maintenance requirements are requested by the owner i.e., greasing monthly instead of weekly, then this must be approved by the Safety Engineer and documented in a management of change process.

Once this work has been undertaken, each specialist engineer will complete a design verifier’s statement which is attached to the application for design registration. This is then scrutinized by the Regulator (Government department i.e., WorkSafe) to ensure all elements have been completed appropriately before a design registration number will be issued.

Once a design registration number has been issued, then the user can apply to the Regulator for a registration number which can then allow the ride to be operated. In some states, registration is required annually such as in Queensland, in other states it is a 5 yearly requirement, and in Victoria, registration is no longer required.

In some cases, with the design registration of amusement rides, the above process is not adhered to, and the design registration is completed by a single engineer who is not competent in all technical aspects of the ride. The Regulator in some states will accept the single engineering sign off on the Design Registration application form. This may result in amusement rides being potentially operated which are not compliant with the relevant standards.

DRA recommend that owners of amusement rides arrange to have structural, electrical, mechanical and control systems sign offs for all rides as part of their Design Registration application with the following mandatory documentation developed and submitted with the application:

  • Restraint risk assessments to provide evidence the restraint is a suitable classification for the amusement rides.
  • The Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Critical Components List for the ride for annual inspection requirements.
  • Inspection schedules to the OEM with any variations justified and approved by the relevant Engineer.

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.

We also offer a range of WHS consulting services along with general and specific health and safety training courses.

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