In January 2017, the handle of a secondary locking device on a “Hurricane” amusement device came free and struck a member of the public attending a regional carnival in NSW.

Hurricane style amusement ride in stopped position
Hurricane style amusement ride showing the restraint locking handle in position


While the ride was operating, the handle on one of the carriages came free, fell and struck a nearby bystander on the back of the neck.  The person was hospitalised with significant bruising.

It appears the incident was due to failure of a circlip on the handle.

Contributing factors

The ride was in otherwise good working order with a documented history of maintenance and inspections.  The inspections checked the operational function of the locking system but did not appear to include disassembly or a check on the condition of the circlip. Inspection of other carriages after the incident revealed some damaged circlips.

Action required

Hurricane ride operators should disassemble and inspect any locking mechanism that uses circlips, and replace damaged circlips and repair damaged circlip grooves. They should also add circlip and secondary restraint components to the critical components list (if not already included) for annual inspections.

Additionally, SafeWork NSW recommends all owners and operators of amusement devices inspect their ride restraints to check the condition of circlips, fasteners, retaining pins and similar, the failure of which could result in a component falling from the device or failure of the restraint. They should implement an appropriate ongoing maintenance program to continue such inspections.

Hurricane style amusement ride showing the deformed circlip in the restraint locking handle
Hurricane style amusement ride showing the inner components (pin, spring, circlip and washer) of the locking handle

Further information

For more information and advice is on our amusement devices page or call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.

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