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Amusement device regulation

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 has specific provisions which apply to plant in general as well as some specific requirements for certain amusement devices.

Most amusement devices require registration as an item of plant and design registration. The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires registration of amusement devices classified by section 2.1 of AS 3533.1:2009 Amusement Rides and Devices – Design and construction with exception to the following devices and structures:

  • an amusement ride or device classified as class 1 under section 2.1 of AS 3533.1:2009 (Amusement rides and devices—Design and construction);
  • playground structures;
  • water slides where water facilitates patrons to slide easily, predominantly under gravity, along a static structure;
  • wave generators where patrons do not come into contact with the parts of machinery used for generating water waves;
  • inflatable devices, other than inflatable devices (continuously blown) with a platform height of 3 metres or more.

Amusement devices must only be operated by someone who has been provided with instruction and training to operate the device properly.

Instruction and training must include:

  • procedures for checking the device before it is operated with passengers
  • starting, operating and stopping the device under normal conditions
  • stopping the device in an emergency
  • providing for the safe access of passengers onto or into the device, including how to position, manage and secure passengers
  • giving safety instructions about the device to passengers
  • providing for the safe exit of passengers off or out of the device, including how to exit the device in an emergency or because of a power failure or malfunction.

The person with management or control of the amusement device must ensure the device is only operated by a competent person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to carry out the task. This recognises that different amusement devices will require varying levels of knowledge and skills to operate. Amusement device owners must ensure that a worker has been assessed and determined as competent to operate the device.

The person with management or control of the amusement device must ensure:

  • the amusement device is checked before it is operated on each day it is to be used
  • the amusement device is operated without passengers before it is operated each day it is to be used with passengers
  • the daily checks and operation of the amusement device without passengers are recorded in the log book
  • the operator of the device is clearly identifiable, for example, through an identification card, badge or clothing. In addition, a record of the operator having completed instruction and training and being determined as competent to operate the device must be included in the log book for the device.

A log book and operating and maintenance manuals must be kept with the amusement device.

The person with management or control of an amusement device must ensure the log book records:

  • details of operators who have completed proper instruction and training and have been determined as competent to operate the device
  • if the device is to be installed, assembled, constructed, commissioned, decommissioned, dismantled or stored, details of the competent people carrying out this work
  • the following information about the most recent annual inspection and any major inspection:
    • the name of the competent person who carried out the inspection
    • the date of the inspection
    • the results of the inspection and any recommendations made by the competent person carrying out the inspection
    • any components repaired or replaced during, or as a result of, the inspection
  • the following information about any improvement notice, prohibition notice, electrical safety notice or infringement notice issued by an inspector:
    • the date and reasons why the notice was given
    • any action taken by the person for the notice
    • if the notice was given under a work health and safety law from another jurisdiction, the location of the device when the notice was given
  • details, including the date/s when the device was erected or stored.

The person with management or control of the device must ensure the log book is available for inspection by:

  • a competent person carrying out an annual inspection or a major inspection of the device
  • people involved in commissioning, installing, using, storing, testing, decommissioning, dismantling or disposing of an amusement device

If requested, the person with management or control of the device must give an event organiser the following information before the device is operated at the event (e.g. a show or school fete):

  • details about the most recent annual inspection of the device
  • details about any person at the event who will be operating the device having completed proper instruction and training and determined as competent to operate the device.

The person with management or control of the amusement device must ensure maintenance, inspection and, if necessary, testing of the amusement device is carried out by a competent person. This person must have acquired through training, qualification or experience, the knowledge and skills to carry out the task. If this includes a detailed inspection of an electrical installation, the competent person must be qualified or assisted by a person who is qualified to inspect electrical installations.

Maintenance, inspection and any necessary testing must be carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the designer and/or manufacturer of the amusement device, or a maintenance manual prepared by a competent person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to carry out the task.

The person with management or control of an amusement device must ensure the device is stored so it is without risk to health and safety, for example, avoiding corrosion caused by exposure to moisture during storage. Storage of the device must be carried out by or under the supervision of a competent person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to carry out the task.

The person with management or control of an amusement device must ensure a detailed inspection of the device is carried out at least once every 12 months by a competent person.

The annual inspection must include:

  • a check of information about the operational history of the device since its last detailed inspection
  • a check of the log book
  • a check that required maintenance and inspections have been carried out
  • a check that any required tests have been carried out and that appropriate records have been maintained
  • a detailed inspection of the amusement device, including a specific inspection of the critical components of the amusement device.

A competent person for carrying out a detailed annual inspection of an amusement device is a registered engineer with the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland (RPEQ) who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect this type of plant. For inflatable devices with platform heights under 9m, this person is not required to be an RPEQ but is considered competent if they have acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect this type of plant.

The person with management or control of an amusement device must ensure a major inspection of the device is carried out by, or under the supervision of, a competent person. Intervals for major inspections are within every 10 years unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer of the device or a competent person who previously inspected the device.

The major inspection involves:

  • a thorough examination of all critical components of the device, including if necessary, stripping down the device and removing paint, grease and corrosion
  • a check of the effective and safe operation of the device.

A competent person for carrying out a major inspection of an amusement device is a registered engineer (RPEQ) who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect this type of plant. For inflatable devices with platform heights under 9m, the person is not required to be an RPEQ but is competent if they have acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect this type of plant.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland are developing a new Amusement Device Code of Practice to complement the amusement device requirements in the WHS Regulation. While the proposed code of practice will include information about major inspections,  Amusement device major inspections – Interim guidance (PDF, 0.29 MB) is available to assist amusement device owners and engineers until it's complete.

Transitional provisions are in place for amusement devices that existed at commencement of the new major inspection requirement.

Transitional provision - amusement devices that have had a major inspection between 1 May 2009 and 1 May 2019

For an amusement device that has had a major inspection in the ten-year period between 1 May 2009 and 1 May 2019, the first major inspection under the new regulatory requirement must be carried out:

  • at the end of any period for a relevant inspection recommended by the device manufacturer or
  • within a shorter period than recommended by the manufacturer if a competent person has previously conducted a major inspection or annual inspection and recommended a shorter period or
  • if there is no recommendation by the manufacturer or competent person, no later than 10 years after the last major inspection.

Major amusement parks

A major amusement park is a workplace which has at least four amusement devices including at least one class 3, class 4 or class 5 amusement device under AS 3533.1, or a high structure water slide at least 10m in height.

If all the rides at a workplace are for a temporary event like an agricultural show or school fete, it is not a major amusement park.

There is a licensing system that applies to any new major amusement parks in Queensland, which meet the criteria for a major amusement park. For major amusement parks that commenced operation before 1 May 2019 a two-year transitional arrangement was put in place, whereby the parks can operate during this period however by 1 May 2021 they must provide the regulator with a safety case and apply for a major amusement park licence.

The safety case and licence regime for major amusement parks requires a comprehensive and integrated approach for managing amusement device safety. As part of the safety case regime, major amusement parks are required to:

  • identify potential incidents and hazards involving amusement devices at the park
  • carry out a safety assessment for amusement devices at the park
  • implement control measures designed to eliminate or minimise the risk of an incident occurring
  • prepare an emergency plan, consult with emergency services and implement the plan when required
  • document information about the amusement devices at the park—for example about maintenance, inspections and testing of devices, and operator training
  • implement a safety management system for amusement devices at the park
  • consult with workers—for example in relation to the emergency plan, safety management system and preparing and reviewing the safety case monitor the effectiveness of the park’s safety case.

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