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Major changes on the way for amusement ride safety

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Major changes on the way for amusement ride safety

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced the Palaszczuk Government will set world-class safety standards for the theme park and amusement ride industry.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of Queensland families and visitors to our great state,” Ms Grace said.

“We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to provide the highest safety standards and public confidence when it comes to rides at carnivals, school fairs and our major theme parks.

Ms Grace said Queensland’s Amusement Device Working Group, made up of industry stakeholders, will today receive the draft Work Health and Safety (Amusement Devices – Public Safety) Amendment Regulation 2018 as part of ongoing consultation.  

“This signals the final stages of the development of these important reforms,” she said.

“Importantly, the Coroner overseeing the Dreamworld Inquest will also be provided with a copy of the proposed regulation changes and will also be consulted.” 

Ms Grace said the proposed regulatory changes centre around four key areas:

  • Mandatory requirements for ride operators to be fully-trained and competent
  • Mandatory major inspections of all amusement and theme park rides
  • Major theme parks to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated safety management system
  • Additional record keeping through detailed log books.

“Mandatory training and competency requirements will mean every amusement and theme park ride in Queensland will be operated by a person who has been properly trained and assessed as competent,” Ms Grace said.

“This means amusement rides at our big theme parks right down to a local show or fairs will be subject to major and comprehensive inspections every ten years, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.”

Ms Grace said these inspections may involve completely stripping down a ride to ensure its integrity, including the removal of paint and grease.

“These mandatory checks will be on top of our existing inspection and testing regime, which includes annual inspections and regular maintenance inspections,” she said.

Ms Grace said Queensland’s major theme parks will also be required to develop a comprehensive and integrated plan for managing safety.

“These plans will detail every aspect of park safety, from ride inspection details, to training of operators, to detailed risk assessments, to emergency plans and everything in between,” she said.

Engineers and specialist WHSQ inspectors will routinely audit the major theme parks against these comprehensive plans, along with other legislative and regulatory requirements.

Amusement ride owners travelling around the show circuit and school fairs will also be required to keep detailed individual ride log books, that must include:

  • The name of trained ride operators and training details
  • Major inspections details of the ride, including results of the inspection and what repairs have been made
  • Any statutory notices issued by WHSQ in relation to the ride.

These changes will ensure this important information is readily accessible to WHSQ Inspectors, engineers who audit agricultural shows, and organisers of school fairs and local shows.

Ms Grace said the Queensland Government would also consider the development of a code of practice, to support the regulations.

“The code of practice may include provisions relating to training delivery, identification cards for ride operators and publicly displayed certificates on rides,” she said. 

“The regulations are expected to be in place by the end of the year, or as soon as practically possible.”

Ms Grace said today’s announcement coincides with WHSQ’s annual audit of amusement rides at Queensland’s biggest show – the Ekka.

“Before and during the 141st Royal Queensland Show, WHSQ will work closely with the RNA, ride operators and their representatives. This will include a full audit of all 34 rides at the Ekka,” she said.

“Shortly after that carnival leaves town, the attention turns to yet another comprehensive audit of the major theme parks – the third in as many years.” 

Between 20 August and 21 September 2018, the theme parks will be audited by WHSQ and Electrical Safety Office inspectors to enforce compliance with workplace laws in Queensland.

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"Major inspections every 10 years..." just shows how out of touch the government actually is with reality when they mention "big theme parks" in the same paragraph. 

How about instead of trying to talk tough, how about they come out with findings of their inspections and maybe throw some support behind anything that might be seen as a high standard already existing?

You know, inject some confidence into those that contribute a big part of their multi billion dollar tourist industry in qld.

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3 hours ago, Skeeta said:

I can't work out what the point of paint stripping is.   If a pipe is rusting on the outside it will blemish the paint and you see it.  If a pipe is rusting on the inside you won’t see it even with removing the paint.


Removal of paint on critical areas, such as welds, rather than the entire structure? Non-Destructive Testing probably already has an answer to this problem.

Don't forget, that release was written by a media adviser to be read by a politician. It doesn't even sound like they've decided on exactly what is in or out of the standards.

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Anyone who thinks everything will be stripped bare and repainted has rocks in their head too. 

Only critical or highly stressed components are tested like that. Doesnt matter if its welded, cast, pressed or folded, if its not under significant load or its not a critical component, theres no point to give it more than a casual glance. You'd bankrupt the industry if you change that. It would be akin to having your house restumped or your roof trusses replaced as preventative maintenance. The owners wouldnt be able to afford ownership. 

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I used to work with a Grace who married a guy with the last name Grace, and became Grace Grace.

  • Mandatory requirements for ride operators to be fully-trained and competent
  • Mandatory major inspections of all amusement and theme park rides
  • Major theme parks to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated safety management system
  • Additional record keeping through detailed log books.

Does anyone else agree these should already be in place? Like seriously, do rides get operated by untrained and incompetent staff now?Are there not already inspection processes in place? Do the parks not already have safety management systems? Also i hope there's log books in place now too?

So what exactly are they changing? This sounds like a whole lot of hot air about things that are already in place.. Are they planning to now actually inspect and enforce these things? To me it reads like - we had all these requirements in place, but basically on an honour system, so now we'll actually do our jobs and enforce them!

Also the paint stripping thing is a bit of a joke - this is the exact reason for NDT. If this is acceptable for offshore subsea equipment to have NDT without stripping paint, then should be more than sufficient for amusement rides. 

Honestly the scariest part of these recent ride failures is that the processes and procedures that are already in place weren't being followed. That's the biggest lapse here, and the hardest thing to enforce/stop recurrences of. The only way i can see it happening is actual penalties for the management in charge of enforcing these, and third party inspections by approved government inspectors. 

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Just from my previous experience as a ride operator (for theme parks and travelling rides), you were required to sign a log book first thing in the morning (and at the end of the night), and if it wasn't signed off by maintenance you couldn't operate the ride until it was. Travelling rides were much the same, checklists needed to be completed each day before operating. Training at Village Roadshow was very thorough, and you would not be signed off until you (and your trainer) felt competent that you could work by yourself. And when working on travelling rides, I was never left alone until I felt that I was comfortable with what I was doing.

So a lot of these things, operators and theme parks were already doing anyway.

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