New safety requirements for water inflatables

Water inflatable equipment and facilities

Following a fatality in Queensland and recommendations made by the Coroner, an interim standard for water inflatables AS 3533.4.5 (Int) – 2012 Amusement rides and devices – Waterborne inflatables was published in August this year.

The objective of this interim standard is to protect health and safety of both operating staff and patrons of these devices. It will provide designers, manufacturers, proprietors and operating staff with safety requirements and guidance; in particular constant airflow inflatable devices (pool inflatables) when used as amusement devices on controlled water.

The standard provides guidance on issues relating to: anchorage, structural integrity, open sides, access and egress, containment, water depth and entrapment. Operators sometimes fail to consider the affect an inflatable will have on supervision in various areas of the facility where such devices are used, considering such amusements are a great attraction in our hot Australian climate.

The interim standard will exist for around two years, during which time the industry and public can provide feedback and add input before the final standard is published. The next edition of the Interim Standard is intended to also include sealed inflatable devices other than aquatic toys, e.g. blow up rings, inflated seahorses, rings intended for use on water slides, flotation aids for water familiarisation.

CFA representative Prof. Raphael Grzebieta is on the Standards Australia Technical Committee ME-051 which is developing and amending the AS 3533 series of standards that cover aspects of safety for amusement rides and devices.

To find out more about becoming a CFA representative on the CFA Standards Project contact the Standards Coordinator