Regulators issue warnings about amusement ride safety

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Sunday, 17 April, 2022 - 12:15
Industry news

WorkSafe Victoria recently cautioned amusement ride operators across Victoria to make safety a priority as the industry re-opens following two quiet years due to COVID.

WorkSafe has completed 279 inspections at events this year – including the Grand Prix, Moomba, St Kilda Festival and the Australian Open – and issued one improvement notice for inadequate guarding on the passenger doors of one ride.

WorkSafe also issued an improvement notice to a ride operator last November after patrons became stuck due to a mechanical fault.

WorkSafe Victoria executive director health and safety Narelle Beer said maintenance of rides should already be completed as operators set up for Easter events this week.

“Every person who uses amusement rides, or works with them, has the right to do so without risking their lives, or risking an injury,” Beer said.

“In light of two recent incidents on amusement rides interstate, including one where a child was injured, we’re reminding Victorian duty holders of their obligations.

“Ride operators must ensure their amusement rides are properly maintained and operating safely. Failure to do so not only puts patrons and workers at risk but could lead to a ride being shut down and the operator being prosecuted.”

Event organisers, ride operators and owners were also reminded to ensure that appropriate control measures and safety checks are in place while rides are operating.

“Ultimately the safe operation of amusement rides is the responsibility of the operators,” Beer said.

“WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute any amusement ride operators who fail to meet their obligations to ensure the safety of their employees or the public.”

And with the 2022 Royal Easter Show in Sydney, SafeWork NSW also said it has been instructed to explore whether the Free Fall ride should be closed following an incident in which a child on the ride was unrestrained while it was in operation.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos said she has a zero-tolerance approach towards any operator who fails to provide the highest possible safety standards.

“I can confirm that I have instructed SafeWork NSW to explore shutting the Free Fall ride for the remainder of the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show if patron’s safety cannot be guaranteed. The ride has been closed pending investigation,” Minister Petinos said.

SafeWork NSW Inspectors, including their specialist engineering team, are investigating the incident and will continue to be a presence for the remainder of the Sydney Royal Easter Show.