Planning for safety
When hiring amusement rides, it is important to:
- check that the ride operator is competent
- check that rides are properly maintained
- check that the ride operator has safe systems of work, including a completed COVIDSafe Plan, and complies with directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer
- plan safe set-up and operation for the event
- work with the ride operator to plan safe set-up and operation of the ride
The following checklists can assist with planning for safety:
- Choosing rides safety checklist
- Electrical safety checklist
- Risk assessment and emergency response checklist
- Traffic management and crowd control checklist
- Safety for inflatables checklist
Work through the checklists and tick each checkbox to confirm.
Assess the location of the ride with the owner. Ensure the location is large enough to accommodate the total area the ride will occupy when operating and ensure the ride is positioned a minimum of 2 metres away from other structures, trees or buildings. Take into account the space required for adjacent rides.
When determining the location, consider:
- above and below-ground services such as power 'no-go zones' and gas
- nearby infrastructure, including trees and buildings
- general ground conditions
- accessibility and any slopes within the operating capacity of the equipment
- the firmness of the ground supporting the weight of the operating amusement equipment and any delivery trucks
- public protection (for example, fencing or barricades) that may need to be implemented
- weather conditions (for example, the impacts of rain or wind on the event)
Installation and assembly
Ask the person assembling and installing the ride to confirm that they are responsible for safe installation and assembly. Ask them to show evidence of a risk assessment. The person assembling and installing the ride should ensure safe passage around the installation and adequate fencing for staff and public safety.
If a crane, boomlift, elevated work platform (EWP), forklift or any other equipment is in use to assemble and/or deconstruct the ride, then the operator must hold the appropriate licence.
The owner should demonstrate that ride patron restraints are well maintained and are in working order.
- Check or have the operator demonstrate that latches and springs are all functioning correctly.
- Can a patron open the restraint from a carriage while the ride is operating?
- Check for seating requirements (for example, loading plan).
- Check for signs to indicate 'rider height' limitations.
- Ensure all signs are easily readable and displayed in open area.
Ask the owner to show that any risk of being ejected from the ride has been eliminated. If the risk is not eliminated then it should be reduced.
The ride operation manual and daily ride inspection checklist may assist in verifying these matters. This should be part of the ride owner’s documentation.
Choosing rides safety checklist
When hiring an amusement ride, check that the ride operator is competent and that the ride is properly maintained. If the operator cannot provide evidence of competence or maintenance checks, they may not be a suitable choice for your event.
It is important to see evidence of maintenance and safe operation.
Begin by asking the operator if the ride has a current well-maintained logbook.
- The operator keeps a current well-maintained log book.
- Details of insurance, daily set-ups, repairs, details of engineer inspections and reports are recorded in the logbook.
- Logbook contains hazard identification and risk control documents, and emergency response procedures.
- Staff training register is required and available.
- Suitable risk controls are in place for recorded hazards.
- Enquire into any outstanding safety regulator (for example, WorkSafe) notices.
- The owner can demonstrate employee training records for safe assembly, operation, dismantling and removal of rides.
- The owner can provide evidence that a competent person is in control of the ride and will ensure safe use. For example, evidence of any training, technical skills, or experience in the industry, or referees or testimonials from previous hirers.
- The owner can provide evidence that the ride operators are competent to instruct patrons on safety, and can ensure that patrons will follow safety instructions.
Monitoring and supervision
- The owner can demonstrate measures put in place to ensure patrons using the ride do not expose other patrons to injury.
For example, adequate supervision to ensure vulnerable patrons such as smaller children are not exposed to injury from other patrons using the ride.
- The owner can provide evidence that the ride has been inspected and maintained between use at events.
- The records of inspections and maintenance are available on site or presented as part of the selection process.
Electrical safety checklist
Speak with the owner to assess the electrical safety of the rides.
Safety issues that should be discussed with the owner include:
- safe access to power
For example, ensuring there is no need to connect to power using a ladder.
- safe running of power cables
For example, ensuring power cables are not hanging from trees or across high foot traffic areas.
- adequate lighting if operating at night
- number of general power outlets (GPO) required, ensuring enough outlets are available to avoid overloading
- use of a safety switch and/or residual current device (RCD)
- leads and power board maintenance
For example, a 'Test and Tag' system may be in use.
- The ride is not installed within the recommended exclusion ‘No-go zones’ for overhead power lines.
Note: Some of these electrical safety matters may be the hirer's responsibility to manage.
Further information is available from Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) or a qualified electrician.
Risk assessment and emergency response checklist
Ensure emergency procedures are in place for each ride, and included in the ride owner documentation and the event plan.
Ask the ride owner to:
- demonstrate that they have a suitable number of functioning and readily accessible fire extinguishers. This ensures that employees are able to respond to any fires at the ride, ride engine, or generator, including those that involve dangerous goods or other combustible materials.
- demonstrate that they have a suitable number of easily accessible first aid kits and staff are adequately trained (refer to Compliance Code – First Aid in the workplace)
- provide evidence that they have undertaken hazard identification, risk assessment and control of risks. The ride operation manual and daily ride inspection checklist may assist in checking this.
- provide evidence that they have a completed COVIDSafe Plan
- provide evidence that they have cleaning structures, processes and equipment that comply with Department of Health coronavirus (COVID-19) cleaning requirements.
Traffic management and crowd control checklist
- Traffic is managed for the event including:
- amusement vehicle access for installation, operation and removal
- pedestrian access to and movement around the venue
- emergency vehicle and/or WorkSafe Inspector access
- A system of work for appropriate crowd control is established to safely manage crowd numbers, movement and behaviour, especially in the case of emergencies.
Safety for inflatables checklist
Speak with the owner to assess the safety of the inflatable rides.
The following safety issues should be considered:
- wind speed
A system of work for regularly monitoring wind speed should be established to ensure that there is sufficient warning and detection of the maximum wind speed. It is recommended that an on-site wind speed meter (anemometer) is used, as this will provide more accurate wind speed monitoring than regional weather updates.
- adequate anchoring
The manufacturers' operations manual should provide guidance on how to securely anchor an inflatable ride onto turf or a hardstand (for example, asphalt) and the maximum wind speed the anchoring system is rated to for patrons to safely access and exit the ride.
Ensure a system of work is provided to employees operating the ride, for example, procedures for retrieving patrons from rides if there is a loss of power.
- fall zones
Ensure impact-absorbing materials are installed around any open sides of the inflatable ride where there is a likelihood of children falling or tripping.
- barriers and fencing
A system of work to prevent patrons (particularly children) accessing dangerous areas of the ride, for example, electric blowers that inflate the ride and other mechanical and electrical components. Blower fans should be appropriately guarded, fenced off, and protected from the weather.
All electrical connections are guarded to prevent mechanical damage and from bad weather. An RCD or similar electrical safety device should be used. Maintenance on electrical equipment including blowers, temporary electrical leads and RCD units should be done by qualified electricians.