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Amusement Devices
Amusement Devices

Key Element

You will be required to comply with Australian Standards, WHS legislation and the Code of Practice if you operate an amusement structure at your workplace or you intend to design amusement structures.

If you operate an amusement structure at your workplace you must ensure that it is operated, maintained and inspected in accordance with the Standard. If you intend to design amusement structures, you must ensure that you design them in accordance with the standard in order for the design to be registered.

Amusement structure means equipment operated for hire or reward which provides entertainment or amusement through movement of the equipment, or part of the equipment, or when passengers travel on, around or along the equipment or move the equipment. Examples include ferris wheels or carousels.

22.1      Referenced documents:

WHS Regulation 2011 Clause 238 – 242

AS 3533.1-2009 Amusement rides and devices – Design and construction

AS 3533.2-2009 Amusement rides and devices – Operation and maintenance

AS 3533.3-2013 Amusement rides and devices – In-service inspection

AS 3533.4.1-2005 Amusement rides and devices – Specific requirements – Land-borne inflatable devices

AS 3533.4.2-2013 Amusement rides and devices – Specific requirements – Contained play facilities

AS 3533.4.3-2007 Amusement rides and devices – Specific requirements – Roller coasters

AS 3533.4.4:2018 Amusement rides and devices – Specific requirements – Hire go-karts

AS 3533.4.5:2017 Amusement rides and devices – Specific requirements – Waterborne inflatables



WA –


22.2      Definitions

22.2.1    Amusement Device

amusement device means plant operated for hire or reward that provides entertainment, sightseeing or amusement through movement of the equipment, or part of the equipment, or when passengers travel on, around or along the equipment, but does not include:

  • a miniature train and railway system owned and operated by a model railway society, club or association, or
  • a ride or device that is used as a form of transport and that is, in relation to its use for that purpose, regulated under another Act or an Act of the Commonwealth, or
  • a boat or flotation device:
  • that is solely propelled by a person who is in or on the boat or device, and
  • that is not attached to any mechanical elements or equipment outside the boat or device, and that does not rely on any artificial flow of water to move, or
  • any plant specifically designed for a sporting, professional stunt, theatrical or acrobatic purpose or activity, or
  • a coin-operated or token-operated device that:
  • is intended to be ridden, at the one time, by not more than 4 children who must be below the age of 10 years, and
  • is usually located in a shopping centre or similar public location, and
  • does not necessarily have an operator.

WHS Regulation Clause 238:
Operation of amusement devices
(1) The person with management or control of an amusement device at a workplace must ensure that the amusement device is operated only by a person who has been provided with instruction and training in the proper operation of the device.

22.2.2    Workplace

For clarity, when the term ‘Workplace’ is used in this chapter, it refers to any place where an amusement device may be in use.  That could be for a corporate function, a community event, a music festival.  It may not be a workplace for the guests, visitors or audience, it still is considered a workplace for everyone else.

22.2.3    Part 1.2 Application

10 Application of the Act to dangerous goods and high risk plant

(1B) The following plant is prescribed as high risk plant for the purposes of Schedule 1 to the Act:

(d) amusement devices covered by section 2.1 of AS:3533.1:2009 (Amusement rides and devices—Design and construction), except devices specified in subclause (1C),

(1C) Subclause (1B) (d) does not apply to the following:

(a) class 1 devices,

(b) playground devices,

(c) water slides where water facilitates patrons to slide easily, predominantly under gravity, along a static structure,

(d) wave generators where patrons do not come into contact with the

parts of machinery used for generating water waves,

(e) inflatable devices that are sealed,

(f) inflatable devices that do not use a non-return valve.


This Guide provides general information on how to manage the risks associated with amusement devices and passenger ropeways at a workplace.

Unless otherwise stated the term amusement devices in this Guide includes both amusement devices and passenger ropeways.

This Guide is supported by information sheets for small business including information for owners and managers; plant designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers; a checklist for operators; and information sheets for inflatable amusement devices and annual inspection and records.


22.3      Registration

If you provide devices that people use for entertainment (like carnival rides), you must check that the design of the device and the device itself is registered with the local Regulator.

You must ensure a competent person such as a chartered professional engineer or a person that is qualified to be on the National Professional Engineers register inspects the device.

There are specific requirements for amusement devices, including on their:

  • operation
  • storage
  • maintenance, inspection and testing
  • annual inspection
  • log books and manuals

22.3.1    Registering an amusement device

You must not allow a registrable amusement device or passenger ropeway to be used unless it has been registered with the regulator.
Schedule 5 of the WHS Regulations requires that:
Amusement devices classified by Section 2.1 of AS 3533.1-2009 Amusement rides and devices – Design and construction be designed and the item registered with the exception of the following:

  • class 1 devices
  • playground devices
  • water slides where water facilitates patrons to slide easily, predominantly under gravity, along a static structure
  • wave generators where patrons do not come into contact with the parts of machinery used for generating water waves, and
  • inflatable devices, other than inflatable devices (continuously blown) with a platform height of 3 metres or more.

Note: Inflatable device (continuously blown) means an amusement device that is an inflatable device that relies on a continuous supply of air pressure to maintain its shape, and
Platform height means in relation to an inflatable device (continuously blown), the height of the highest part of the device designed to support persons using it (the platform), as measured from the surface supporting the device to the top surface of the platform when the device is inflated but unloaded.    Examples of amusement devices that must be registered include:

  • most powered and non-powered (manually operated) mechanical devices
  • inflatable devices (continuously blown) with a platform height of 3 metres or more
  • climbing walls
  • giant slides
  • go-karts
  • high ropes courses, bridge swinging, bungy jumping, and
  • miniature trains not owned and operated by a model railway society, club or association.

If you are not sure if an amusement device needs to be design or item registered, you should contact the regulator.

22.4      Hiring amusement devices

When you hire an amusement device, you have a duty to make sure the device is registered, the registration is current and all maintenance has been carried out.

A detailed risk assessment can help to steps to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers and other people are not exposed to health and safety risks from amusement devices at the workplace

22.4.1    Amusement Device Assessment    Find out what could cause harm.

The following can help you identify potential hazards:

Walk around your workplace and visually inspect amusement devices to identify any problems. Consider how they are operated, their design characteristics, how patrons use them and local environmental factors like overhead and underground electrical services.

Consult with your workers about any problems they may have encountered with amusement devices at events.

If there is more than one business or undertaking involved at your event, you must consult them to share information, find out who is doing what and work together so risks are eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. For example, amusement device owners and operators at festivals or community fairs should consult with the event organisers about local factors such as land stability and underground or overhead services which may affect the safety of amusement devices.

Capture and record problems raised by patrons that they encounter at your event.  Review historical data where available to identify possible problems.

Review the inspection, test and maintenance records e.g. log books and incident and injury records including near misses that are kept with the amusement device.

When leasing or hiring an amusement device consider the suitability of the device for your intended use e.g. age/height/mass limitations on patrons, ease and safety of setup/dismantling and ground support limitations, especially for mobile devices.

Consider the intended use of the amusement device and the possibility that patrons under influence alcohol, medications or illicit drugs may want to use the device.  If that could impact on the safe use of the device, procedures must be developed to address this including handling of troublesome punters.    Assess the risk.

In many cases the risks and related control measures will be well known. In other cases you may need to carry out a risk assessment to identify the likelihood of somebody being harmed by the hazard and how serious the harm could be. A risk assessment can help you determine what action you should take to control the risk and how urgently the action needs to be taken.   For more detail on risk management, see the Chapter ‘Risk Management’

22.4.2    Take action to control the risk.

The WHS laws require a business or undertaking do all that is reasonably practicable to eliminate or minimise risks.  You need to consider all possible control measures and make a decision about which are reasonably practicable for your event. Deciding what is reasonably practicable includes the availability and suitability of control measures, with a preference for using substitution, isolation or engineering controls to minimise risks before using administrative controls or PPE following the hierarchy of control.  Cost may also be relevant, but you can only consider this after all other factors have been taken into account.  And note that ‘can’t afford it’ is not an acceptable argument, cost can only be used if disproportionate with the risk, not if it fits the budget.

Hierarchy of risk control sets out the preferred sequence of control options:
• Design or reorganise to eliminate the hazard: try to ensure that hazards are designed out when new materials, equipment and work systems are being planned for the workplace.
• Remove or substitute the hazard: where possible remove the hazard or substitute with less hazardous materials, equipment or substances.
• Enclose or isolate the hazard: this can be done through the use of barriers, introducing a strict work area, enclosing a noisy process from a person.
• Minimise through engineering controls: this can be done through the use of machine guards, effective ventilation systems etc.
• Minimise the risk by adopting administrative controls: establish appropriate procedures and safe work practices such as job rotation to reduce exposure time or boredom; timing the work so that fewer employees are exposed; routine maintenance and housekeeping procedures; training on hazards and correct work methods.
• Personal Protective Equipment: provide suitable and properly maintained personal protective equipment and ensure employees are trained in its proper use (examples include gloves, earplugs etc.).    Check your control measures

Control measures need to be regularly reviewed to make sure they remain effective taking into consideration any changes, the nature and duration of event and that the system is working as planned.    Communicate the control measures

Control measures are only effective if all people involved are aware of them.  Operators and assistants must be well aware of all control measures in place to ensure the safe operation of the amusement device.

And the people using the device must be made aware of any things they must or mustn’t do.  Signs are important but don’t rely on them too heavy, not everyone may have seen or understood the sign.    Review the control measures

Always monitor the effectiveness of control measures and any signage.  Encourage feedback from operators and users to make sure the controls are working without restricting the enjoyment of the device.

22.5      Before using an amusement device

Before using an amusement device at an event you must:

check the amusement device is registered if required by Schedule 5 of the WHS Regulations

prepare and maintain an emergency plan

ensure the amusement device is suitable for the intended purpose and is in a safe condition

check the operator was provided instruction and training in the proper operation of the amusement device, and, so far as is reasonably practicable, identify and manage any risks related to the site where the amusement device will be operated.

Depending on the device and the worker’s role, instruction and training on the ‘proper operation’ of an amusement device to protect workers, patrons and others may include:

  • safe start-up, operation and shutdown in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • safe device control including safe speed, noise levels and emergency controls
  • safe access for, placement, management and security of patrons
  • providing safety instructions to patrons, and
  • safe exit from the amusement device.

You should also receive safe work procedures for transport, installation, commissioning, operation, inspections, maintenance and storage of amusement devices from the amusement device operator or owner.

For more information see the Amusement devices information sheet for owners and managers.

22.5.1    Choosing an amusement device

Before hiring an amusement device think about what it will be used for and discuss your needs with suppliers to decide which amusement device is suitable for the intended use. Ask the supplier about what it was designed and manufactured to do and the results of any tests and conditions needed to use it safely. You should also check the design and construction is suitable for the intended purpose and that it meets any relevant technical standards.

22.6      Hiring an amusement device

If hiring or leasing an amusement device the person hiring the device and the person it was hired from  must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is safe to use.

If you are hiring an amusement device you should check:

  • it is suitable for its intended use
  • the inspections and maintenance records are up-to-date in the log book
  • the supplier has public liability insurance, and
  • the supplier provides information about its registration, proper use, transporting, handling, setting-up inspection, routine maintenance and dismantling.

22.6.1    Site conditions

Amusement devices can be set up and operated in a range of locations. The site conditions at each location should be considered including:

  • ground and supporting surfaces
    • firm ground that can support the weight of the loaded device and any plant used to erect or maintain it e.g. forklifts
    • temporary foundations or footings that can carry applied loads
    • site drainage and the potential impact from rain
    • ground that is suitable to hold anchors in place for inflatable devices
  • weather conditions e.g. high winds
  • vertical and horizontal clearance between the amusement device and buildings, trees, overhead electric lines, underground services, vehicle and pedestrian pathways and other amusement devices, and
  • safe access for workers, patrons and emergency vehicles.

22.6.2    Installing an amusement device

Amusement devices must be installed and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

If this information is not available they should be installed using instructions provided by a competent person.

22.6.3    High risk work licences

There is no high risk work licence requirement for amusement device operation.

However, a high risk work licence is required to operate certain types of plant that may be used in erecting or dismantling an amusement device, including forklift trucks, boom type elevating work platforms and certain cranes. A high risk work licence is also required to carry out dogging, rigging or scaffolding work, including dismantling of scaffolding.

If your workers undertake any of this work they must hold the relevant licence.

22.6.4    Commissioning an amusement device

Commissioning involves adjusting, testing and inspecting an amusement device according to the designer’s or manufacturer’s specifications. If you do not have this information you should use instructions provided by a competent person.

Safety checks should be completed before an amusement device is put into service including checking any of the specific requirements that apply to the specific amusement device.

22.6.5    Inspections

An amusement device must be maintained, inspected and tested by a competent person according to the manufacturer’s instructions or instructions prepared by a competent person.

Safety inspections should include checking the control mechanisms, speed limiting apparatus, brakes, electrical systems, fastenings and other safety equipment including barriers.

22.6.6    Daily inspection

You must make:

  • a daily visual check before operating the amusement device, and
  • another check with the amusement device running under power before it is accessed by members of the public.

These daily checks must be entered into the log book with the:

  • date and time of the inspection or test
  • name of the person who performed the check, and
  • information about defects or problems identified and steps taken to fix them.

22.6.7    Other control measures    Guarding

A guard is a barrier which stops a person touching hot, cold or moving parts or accessing dangerous areas of an amusement device. Guarding should be installed so clothing or body parts cannot get caught and patrons are not injured.    Operator controls

Operator controls should be guarded and located where they cannot be activated unintentionally or by patrons.    Emergency stops

Emergency stop controls should not be the only method of bringing an amusement device to a stop. They should be designed as a backup to other control measures.    Warning devices

Warning devices should be used in addition to other control measures. Warning devices can indicate that the device is starting or stopping.

Further information on guarding, operator controls, emergency stops, warning devices and isolation procedures is in the Code of Practice: Managing the risks of plant in the workplace.    Inflatable amusement devices

Information on potential hazards of inflatable amusement devices and practical advice on ways you can control the risks associated with them is in the Amusement devices information sheet for Inflatable devices.

22.6.8    Log book

A log book must be kept with the amusement device. It must include details of the erection or storage of the device including the date of any erection. You must also accurately record the daily checks of the device operated without passengers in the log book.

The log book is used to keep permanent records about repairing, maintaining and using the amusement device including copies of any inspection reports. It may be kept as a booklet, a loose-leaf folder or electronically on a computer.

Log books will vary depending on the complexity and number of amusement devices owned and operated. If needed, separate logs should be kept for other equipment e.g. steam, hydraulic and pneumatic systems which are not able to be covered by the general log.

A log book and operating and maintenance manual must be kept for each amusement device and must be easily accessible to people who need them including people involved with installing, erecting, commissioning, using, testing, decommissioning, dismantling, storing and disposing of the amusement device.

The log book must be kept with the amusement device. For travelling amusement devices or those hired out where there is a danger of the log book being damaged or lost, a copy of the log book entries for at least the last 2 years should be kept with the device, provided the entire log book can be produced within 48 hours and is produced for examination as part of the annual inspection.

22.7      Operation of an Amusement Device

22.7.1    The operator

The amusement device operator must be provided with instruction and training so they are competent to operate the device safely. The operator of an amusement device should:

  • be able to demonstrate they understand and will follow operating procedures
  • be able to give clear instructions or warnings to patrons and attendants and check patrons are safely restrained
  • immediately report faults or malfunctions and stop the amusement device, and
  • be familiar with emergency and first aid procedures.

Information and training of operators should cover how to operate the amusement device safely including:

  • following manufacturer or other written operating instructions
  • general use of controls including emergency braking
  • speed limits, loads, ride times and frequencies
  • operator distractions including restrictions on the use of mobile phones
  • safe loading and unloading
  • passenger restrictions e.g. height and weight
  • procedures to manage patrons who misbehave
  • safe waiting and viewing places for spectators
  • use and maintenance of safety equipment
  • inspection, testing and maintenance procedures
  • local environmental conditions e.g. what to do in adverse weather
  • location considerations like safe public viewing areas
  • emergency training including procedures during equipment failure, and
  • using, testing and storing PPE during emergencies.

22.7.2    Public safety

You should review procedures to ensure public safety whenever the amusement device is used during a public event. The risk to unauthorised people entering the area of the amusement device should be controlled, for example by dedicated fencing. Any perimeter fencing should be checked and maintained to prevent unauthorised access.

If amusement devices still pose risks, locks should be fitted to prevent unauthorised access. Securing an amusement device should not limit emergency access or the ability of people to evacuate if necessary. Barriers or locks should be regularly inspected and tested.

The security of unattended amusement devices should also be managed, for example by:

  • locking electrical switchboards
  • securing fuels or hazardous chemicals in accordance with regulatory requirements
  • locking access to operator controls and store keys securely, and
  • keeping other plant and equipment safely stored.

Size restrictions
the manufacturer has stipulated allowable patron restrictions (e.g. minimum height) and that restrictions are reasonable and are, in the opinion of the engineer, acceptable
there are size and/or seating restrictions and whether on-site screening procedures are adequately documented
documented procedures exist, that they are included as part of the operator training and are consistently implemented by every operator.
Communicate the minimum rider size and seating requirements to workers operating the ride and provide training to these workers so that these requirements are strictly enforced. The owner must take steps to monitor the operation of the ride to ensure that the procedure is being followed diligently by the operator. Failure to enforce the requirement may result in serious injuries.

22.7.3    Access – entry and exit

Amusement devices should have crowd control fences, barriers or other physical measures to:

  • assist safe and orderly queuing
  • define the safe loading and unloading area
  • provide safe passage for operating staff and patrons, and
  • exclude unauthorised people including spectators and passers-by from accessing the amusement device and staff and patron areas.

22.7.4    Patron responsibility

Many incidents can result from unsafe patron behaviours. To minimise risks it is necessary:

  • that the operator communicates health and safety information to patrons and enforces health and safety requirements
  • patrons understand the information and comply with instructions provided including with any height restrictions, and
  • operators monitor patron behaviour and take appropriate action if instructions are not being complied with e.g. from a friendly reminder to stopping the amusement device depending on the potential consequence.

22.7.5    Noise levels

Operators and patrons may be exposed to hazardous noise from the operation of amusement devices or localised entertainment. Noise that a worker is exposed to must not exceed the exposure standard for noise. Where workers may be exposed to noise for long durations (e.g. over 8 hours) noise levels should be lower than the noise exposure standard if reasonably practicable.

If workers may be exposed to noise in excess of the exposure standard the noise level should be reduced, or where this is not reasonably practicable, other risk control measures should be implemented like appropriate PPE.

Further information on managing noise is in this chapter: Exposure to Noise


22.8      Emergency plan

An emergency plan must be prepared and maintained for the amusement device. The plan’s procedures should be communicated to workers and as necessary to patrons.

Procedures for responding effectively in emergencies should include, where applicable:

  • a system for contacting emergency services quickly
  • warning systems and evacuation procedures
  • emergency contact numbers displayed where they are easily read
  • firefighting and rescue equipment available on the site
  • emergency stop systems and safe shut-down procedures for amusement devices
  • training workers in using emergency equipment to release patrons from the amusement device in an emergency, and
  • training workers to respond to injured people.

Where amusement devices operate in enclosed spaces, emergency lighting and illuminated exit signs should be installed.