Purchasing a second-hand amusement device fact sheet
This factsheet provides general information on how to ensure you are purchasing a second-hand amusement device that is safe for your operators, patrons and others nearby. It will also help you to make sure your amusement device complies with the NSW Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislative requirements.
The following checklist can be used by a person purchasing a second-hand amusement device to ensure it has safety features that meet current Australian expectations as outlined in the Australian Standard AS 3533.1 including rider restraints, residual current device (RCDs) and guarding on machinery.
Know what you need
Before purchasing think about the type of amusement device you are going to buy and make sure it is designed for safe operation. Think about engaging a technical expert for example an engineer during purchasing to provide advice on what you will need for safe operation and to make sure the amusement device will meet industry expectations and WHS legislative requirements.
The previous owner or supplier should be able to provide product brochures, technical specification sheets and operation manuals to help you make an informed decision.
- What features the amusement device should have to ensure safe operation, has it been safeguarded as much as possible to meet Australian expectations? Does it have suitable controls to eliminate the WHS hazards? Will it be safe for your patrons and others nearby? Consider the number of patrons and any age, height or weight restrictions.
- Have you carried out a WHS risk assessment that includes the installation, commissioning, operation, inspection, maintenance and for mobile amusement devices, pack up transport? What size area do you need to operate the amusement device in? Are there any environmental factors such as wind and height restrictions? Will it fit in with existing rides and venues? How many people will be
required to set-up and dismantle? Do you need any special equipment or licensed people to do this? What type of transport do you need for the amusement device?
- Talking to your workers who will operate the amusement device about possible WHS risks and discuss with them what amusement device you are after, including what safety features the amusement device should have to ensure safe operation. Your workers can assist in identifying safe operator controls to enable the amusement device to be fail safe.
- What training your operators will need to operate the amusement device safely, on-going training, instructions and supervision? Are you familiar with this type of amusement device or model, should you seek advice from others in the industry such as an industry association or WHS regulator.
- What are the service requirements, how long before it will need a service, repair, major inspections or replacement? Does it require a competent person to undertaken the service? Are spare parts and after sales support available in Australia?
- Identifying the controls that are required to eliminate hazards or minimise health and safety risks. What are the hazards and risks associated with installation, commissioning, operation, inspection, maintenance, repair, transport, storage and dismantling of the amusement device? Are these controls incorporated into the design?
- Consider whether certain modifications would need to be made to meet Australian expectations as outlined in Australian Standard 3533 series. Think about how you will document and manage changes made to the design.
- What you will need to set up and operate the amusement device, including licensed people, on-going training, instructions, supervision and verification of competencies.
- When purchasing a second-hand amusement device make sure you receive from the previous owner the operator manual and logbooks containing records of all tests, inspections, maintenance, commission, decommissioning, dismantling and alterations of the amusement device.
- Identify the future inspection and maintenance requirements. Consider:
- The availability of information, assistance and on-going support from the manufacturer which is specific to Australian requirements.
- The availability of compatible spare parts.
- When the next inspection required. Refer to SafeWork Australia’s annual inspection information sheet for annual inspection requirements.
- A maintenance plan will help keep your operator’s, patrons and those nearby safe and reduce downtime.
- The availability of suitable competent persons to undertake inspections and maintenance.
- Is the amusement device design and item registered with a WHS regulator? Does it need to be design or item registered?
Each Australian state has item and design registration requirements for the various classifications of amusement devices. Check with the relevant state WHS regulator as to what the requirements are because they are different in each state. It is advisable to make sure registration requirements can be met before finalising the purchase.
Know your WHS obligations
When you buy an amusement device, new or secondhand, and take ownership under the WHS legislation you become a person with management or control. This requires you to ensure the amusement device is without risks to the health and safety of any person, including those who are near the amusement device when it is in use.
Amusement devices that are purchased second-hand may have defects or missing parts that mean it cannot be put into service without repairs or modifications. The amusement device may also not have current automated sensors and safety features so may rely more heavily on operator and attendant actions.
You must ensure it is fit for purpose and use it for what it was designed to do. Ensure it is correctly operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or in the absence of such specification, in accordance with a competent person’s recommendations.
Know what you need to get from the previous owner
You must take all reasonable steps to obtain relevant information from the previous owner. You should obtain as much of this information as you can, such as:
- What the amusement device was designed or manufactured to do and the date it was manufactured
- Information on how to use and maintain the amusement device for example operation and maintenance manuals including records of maintenance, inspection and testing. When is the next inspection due? Can it be inspected personally or does it require independent inspection
- Are there any modifications? Recent repairs? Outstanding improvement or prohibition notices issued by the WHS regulator?
- If the amusement device is registered with a WHS Regulator make sure you receive the item registration and design registration numbers, or preferably copies of the registration certificates. Note: item registration will need to be transferred to you as the new owner
The previous owner must also let you know
If there are any identified faults with the plant and provide the buyers this information in writing. If appropriate, they must provide a statement that the amusement device should not be used until the faults are rectified.
The only exception is where the amusement device is being sold for scrap or spare parts and is not intended to be used. In this case, the previous owner must tell the buyers in writing or by marking the amusement device that:
- The amusement device is being supplied for scrap or spare parts only, and
- The amusement device cannot be used in its current form.
If the buyer wanted to use an amusement device that was sold for scrap or spare parts it would first need to be inspected by a competent person, and any faults identified would then need to be rectified before putting the amusement device into service.
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Sections 20-26 for specific information on the duties of persons who design, manufacture, import, supply, install and manage amusement devices.
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 Clauses 238-242 for specific information on control measures for amusement devices.