Amusement devices – duties of event organisers

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This guide summarises the duties of show organisers when hosting events that include amusement devices.

Published 25 September 2017


Organisers are persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation and have duties to ensure health and safety of workers (including volunteers) and people attending their events.

This includes having some management or control of the amusement devices (and other plant at the show) regardless of whether they directly hire the amusement devices, rent out space to the amusement device operator/s, or something in between.

Organisers are responsible for:

Selection of amusement device

When determining the types of amusement device for the show the organiser should consider:

The amusement device supplier (supplier/s) can help determine which amusement devices are suitable for the intended use and will be able to provide the specifications and the site requirements to accommodate them.

Site planning

Planning is essential and should be completed in advance, as last minute changes can be difficult.

Initial planning should include consideration of:

Once the devices are selected, the final plan should be developed and undertaken using a risk management process in consultation with those having knowledge, responsibility and/or experience in planning shows that include amusement devices. :

The final plan should include:


You must consult, cooperate and coordinate with other duty holders and any workers of the business whose health and safety is likely to be affected.

This will allow duty holders to work together to better plan and manage health and safety. It is recommended that organisers keep records of consultation to demonstrate compliance, it could assist with the risk management process and make disputes less likely.

Consultation should address:

The organiser should provide the supplier and operator with information including:

Consultation with workers

Organisers also have a duty to consult on health and safety matters with their own workers (including volunteers) who are (or are likely to be) directly affected.

The aim of consultation is to ensure that organisers have sufficient information to make informed decisions and any workers who may be affected are given opportunity to provide their views and understand the reasons for the decisions.

It may not be practical to consult with volunteers during the planning stage however, they should be informed about any matters that may affect their health and safety prior to commencing work.

It is not always necessary to consult with every worker. The workers that are consulted should be those who are, or could be, directly affected by health and safety matters.

Annual inspection and records

Amusement devices are required to be maintained, inspected and tested by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer and/or designers recommendations.

A supplier must keep a record of all tests, inspections, maintenance, commissioning, decommissioning and alterations while it is under their control.

These documents should be made available for review if requested (usually known as a ‘logbook’).

Organiser’s should refer to the pre-acceptance checklist for more information.

Annual inspection by a professional engineer

A detailed inspection must be carried out every 12 months by a competent person such as a chartered professional engineer or a person on the National Professional Engineers register.

The organiser should ensure that the inspection report is current for the duration of the event. If the event is held outside the inspection report expiry date, the organiser should get confirmation that the next annual inspection will occur before or at the event.

Design and item registrations

Design registration

Amusement devices of class 2 or above as outlined in Section 2.1 of AS 3533.1:2009 require design registration with an Australian WHS Regulator, with the following exceptions:

An amusement device that has been registered with a WHS Regulator from another state is recognised in NSW and therefore acceptable.

Item registration

Plant that has a higher level of risk of harm associated with its operation, use or maintenance must be registered by the owner, lessee or controller of the plant, this includes amusement devices covered by Section 2.1 of Australian Standard (AS) 3533.1:2009.

The purpose of registering an item of plant is to ensure that it is inspected by a competent person and is safe to operate. In NSW item registration is required every 12 months so the organiser should check it is current.

Item registered with a WHS Regulator in another state or territory are recognised in NSW and therefore acceptable.

From, January 2018 this will change, when current transitional arrangements end and the WHS item registration requirements come into force.


Commissioning during site set-up involves adjusting, testing and inspecting the amusement device according to the designer’s or manufacturer’s specifications.

Safety checks should be completed before an amusement device is put into service and this should be documented.

Falls from Heights

Falls from heights are a risk that needs to be managed particularly when erecting a device. There are specific laws about working safely at heights.

Instruction and training records

Training should be consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations and may include:

The supplier should have a register of all the people who have received training, the date when the training was conducted and the type of training that was conducted.

High risk work licence

Although there are no high risk work licence requirements for amusement device operation, a high risk work licence may be required to operate plant (fork lift, elevating work platform) or carry out certain activities (dogging, rigging) during erection or dismantling of the amusement device.  The supplier should also have a register of all the people who have high risk work licences. You should check that the supplier has a high risk licence and that the licence:

You can check a licence on our check a licence page.

Maintenance records

An amusement device must be maintained and inspected by a competent person in accordance with the designer’s or manufacturer’s instructions or a maintenance manual prepared by a competent person.

Maintenance records should be made available for inspection if requested.

Preventative maintenance should also be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, or the recommendations of a competent person, and generally includes inspection, lubrication, and adjustments at specified periods to reduce the likelihood of breakdown or component failure.

Breakdown or emergency repair work is not preventative maintenance.

Test and tag of electrical equipment records

Electrical cords and leads on portable amusement devices require testing and tagging.

All testing and tagging of electrical equipment, including RCD’s (safety switch) must be undertaken by a competent person at least every 12 months.

Organisers should request that suppliers provide a register of electrical equipment showing records of testing being undertaken within the 12 months prior to the show.

More information can be found in the Managing electrical risks in the workplace code of practice.

Emergency plan

An emergency plan should include:

There should be evidence that the plan is regularly tested and workers are trained in the implementation.


The organiser should request a certificates of currency as evidence of insurance.

Public liability

Public liability insurance is not mandatory but it is recommended that suppliers have adequate coverage.

Workers compensation

All employers in NSW (other than exempt employers) must have a workers compensation policy. Contact the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) for more information.

More information