Amusement structures: Chair-o-planes

Incidents involving amusement rides such as chair-o-planes can involve the risk of serious injury or death.



A chair-o-plane has seats suspended from a rotating carousel. Each seat is suspended by chains from a metal hanger. A load-bearing bolt is used to attach the metal hanger to the spreader bar which forms part of the top of the carousel. This bolt may be attached to the rotating carousel through the use of a castellated nut and split pin.

Recommended risk control measures

To control the risks associated with chair-o-plane amusement structures, owners and operators should take the following actions:

  • Install a safety system such as a slack chain, wire rope or catch strap at each chair’s suspension point (hook and spreader location) to prevent the seat from completely separating from the ride if a suspension component fails. This safety system should be designed by a competent person (for example, a suitable engineer). It should be able to withstand the dynamic load when a ride component fails.
  • Install, monitor and maintain safety-critical components in accordance with the specifications of the designer, manufacturer, or competent person.
  • Ride components should meet the specifications of the designer, manufacturer, or competent person. For example, mismatched parts should not be used on a ride.
  • Where castellated nuts are used instead of locknuts, use a correctly installed split pin to prevent the nut from rotating on the threaded shaft. Secure the pin ends in the slots.
  • Install bolts, pins, nuts and other fasteners in an arrangement which prevents or minimises damage or wear to safety-critical components.
  • Identify all of the ride’s safety-critical components (particularly those within the load path). Check that the ride logbook contains details of the inspection and maintenance of these components.
  • Review existing maintenance and inspection systems to ensure that safety-critical components are included.
  • Conduct pre-assembly inspections of the ride, including checks of safety-critical components. Record the results of inspections and tests in the ride logbook.
  • Conduct pre-operational inspection and functional tests of the ride, including checks of the safety critical components. Record the results of inspections and tests in the ride logbook.
  • Get the operator and maintenance manuals from the designer, manufacturer, or supplier, or engage a competent person to prepare these manuals.

Reviewing risk controls

An employer or self-employed person must review and if necessary, revise any measures implemented to control risks associated with plant (including amusement structures) or its associated systems of work in these situations:

  1. Before the plant is used for the first time at a workplace.
  2. Before any alteration is made to the plant or any change is made in the way the plant is used or in its associated systems of work, including a change in the location of the plant.
  3. If new or additional information about hazards or risks relating to the plant or its associated systems of work becomes available to the employer or self-employed person.
  4. After any incident occurs to which Part 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 applies that involves the plant or its associated systems of work.
  5. If for any other reason, the risk control measures do not adequately control the risks.
  6. After receiving a request from a health and safety representative.

(Regulation 121(1) Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS Regulations) 2017)

It is recommended that hazards and risk control measures associated with amusement structures be reviewed regularly to ensure safe operation of the structure.

When controlling risks associated with amusement structures, owners and operators should consider newer, lower risk designs.

Information obtained from amusement structure manufacturers, industry professionals (for example, a suitable engineer) and other sources of information on industry improvements may assist in reviewing and revising risk control measures.

Inspection and maintenance

An employer or self-employed person must keep a record of any inspection and maintenance carried out on amusement structures to which AS 3533.1 – Amusement rides and devices – Part 1: Design and construction (AS3533.1) applies, and that is determined to be Class 2 or greater in accordance with AS 3533.1 for the period that the employer or self-employed person has management or control of the plant (regulation 106(b) of the OHS Regulations 2017).

It is recommended that owners and operators of amusement structures have detailed documents which record work conducted during inspection and maintenance. These documents should also record the criteria used by the person conducting the inspection and maintenance to conclude the amusement structure is safe to operate.

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