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WA: Inspection spotlight on amusement centres and operators of inflatables

Tuesday, 13 September, 2016 - 10:00
Industry news


WorkSafe WA is undertaking an inspection program looking at safety issues at amusement centres and with operators of inflatable amusement devices.

The inspection program will involve inspectors visiting amusement centres and the operators of inflatable devices such as bouncy castles in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the 2016/17 financial year.

The inspection program had been prompted by a previous program and the potential for serious injuries, according to WorkSafe WA director Joe Attard.

“A program was undertaken last financial year looking at inflatable water slides, and the results indicated that we needed to expand the scope of the inspections and look at the whole industry in more detail,” Attard said.

A number of incidents have occurred over recent years in which children have been injured, including one in which a child was thrown from his father’s lap when coming down a water slide.

In another incident, a child sustained facial injuries while bouncing down a water slide, and incidents have also occurred when children have come down water slides head-first or in pairs or groups.

In addition, Attard said the potential exists for multiple serious injuries – particularly to children – if safety systems fail and incidents occur when crowds are present.

As part of this inspection program, inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas including manual tasks, slips, trips and falls, falls from height and machine guarding.

They will also focus on issues more specific to the industry, such as:

  • Registration of amusement structures – that the amusement structure is registered with WorkSafe;
  • Training – that employees are being given the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to protect themselves and others;
  • Site conditions – that amusement structures are only set up in safe sites and in safe conditions;
  • Installation – that amusement devices are installed under the direct supervision of a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Operation – that structures are operated, maintained and inspected in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard and the manufacturer’s instructions and that records are kept in accordance with the Standard;
  • Emergency procedures – that an emergency plan is prepared and all employees are trained in the procedures;
  • Noise – that noise levels around the structures are minimised as far as is practicable; and
  • Inflatable structures – that these structures are operated in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard and the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Employers in this industry must also have procedures in place to safeguard members of the public who use the structures and devices, so it is particularly important that risk assessments are conducted and safe systems of work put into place,” said Attard.