QLD: Major changes on the way for amusement ride safety

Wednesday, 8 August, 2018 - 16:45
Policy & legislation
National News

The Queensland Government will soon introduce major safety changes for the theme park and amusement ride industry, with the amusement device working group receiving the draft Work Health and Safety (Amusement Devices – Public Safety) Amendment Regulation 2018 as part of ongoing consultation.

“This signals the final stages of the development of these important reforms,” said Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.

“Importantly, the Coroner overseeing the Dreamworld Inquest will also be provided with a copy of the proposed regulation changes and will also be consulted.”

Minister Grace said the proposed regulatory changes centre around four key areas:

  • Mandatory requirements for ride operators to be fully-trained and competent
  • Mandatory major inspections of all amusement and theme park rides
  • Major theme parks to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated safety management system
  • Additional record keeping through detailed log books.

“Mandatory training and competency requirements will mean every amusement and theme park ride in Queensland will be operated by a person who has been properly trained and assessed as competent,” Minister Grace said.

“This means amusement rides at our big theme parks right down to a local show or fairs will be subject to major and comprehensive inspections every ten years, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.”

These inspections may involve completely stripping down a ride to ensure its integrity, including the removal of paint and grease.

“These mandatory checks will be on top of our existing inspection and testing regime, which includes annual inspections and regular maintenance inspections,” she said.

Minister Grace said Queensland’s major theme parks will also be required to develop a comprehensive and integrated plan for managing safety.

“These plans will detail every aspect of park safety, from ride inspection details, to training of operators, to detailed risk assessments, to emergency plans and everything in between,” she said.

Engineers and specialist WHSQ inspectors will routinely audit the major theme parks against these comprehensive plans, along with other legislative and regulatory requirements.

Amusement ride owners travelling around the show circuit and school fairs will also be required to keep detailed individual ride log books, 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.

Minister Grace said the Queensland Government would also consider the development of a code of practice, to support the regulations.

“The code of practice may include provisions relating to training delivery, identification cards for ride operators and publicly displayed certificates on rides,” she said. 

“The regulations are expected to be in place by the end of the year, or as soon as practically possible.”