Victorian operators of inflatable amusement rides and event organisers hiring them are being urged to review their health and safety obligations after WorkSafe Victoria recently found inadequate risk controls at three separate sites.
Land-borne inflatables such as jumping castles and slides are a popular addition to parties, school fetes, sporting activities, community festivals and other events but can be a serious safety hazard if they are not set up and operated correctly.
WorkSafe inspectors recently issued the operator of one ride with compliance notices over a number of safety issues, including a lack of adequate anchorage and the outdoor use of electric blowers unsuitable for exposure to rain.
Another operator told inspectors they had placed anchor weights beside their inflatable ride without connecting them because it wasn’t windy enough, while other inspectors also observed a 4.7-metre high inflatable device set up underneath high tensile power lines.
WorkSafe Victoria executive director health and safety Narelle Beer said a failure to control the risks associated with inflatable amusement devices could easily lead to tragedy.
“As we’ve seen in the past when things have gone wrong with inflatable rides, the consequences can be devastating,” Beer said.
“There is simply no excuse for putting members of the public at risk and WorkSafe will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against those operators not meeting their health and safety obligations.”
Beer said it was important for event organisers hiring inflatables to ensure the ride operator was competent, especially with many major amusement operators heading interstate at this time of the year.
“If the operator cannot provide evidence of their competence or maintenance checks, including by showing a logbook and training records, they may not be a suitable choice for your event.”
To control risks associated with operating an inflatable device, WorkSafe Victoria said duty holders should: