Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Final days of inquest into Dreamworld fatalities sees calls for new initiatives in theme park safety

Final days of inquest into Dreamworld fatalities sees calls for new initiatives in theme park safety
December 6, 2018

A major overhaul of theme park safety including mandatory major inspections has been proposed as part of evidence submitted into the Coronial inquest into fatalities at Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld in October 2016.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Director Bradley Bick told the inquest, which resumed today (6th December), of his opinion that rides should be subject to mandatory major inspections every 10 years.

Inspections would involve a thorough examination of critical components, stripping down devices, and removing paint, grease and corrosion to ensure "effective and safe operation" of all theme park attractions.

Bick’s recommendations include the testing of ride operators to ensure they are competent to operate the attraction and for Workplace Queensland officers to have the right to undertake "spot checks" to ensure theme parks adhere to strict safety guidelines.

Bick told the inquest “this will provide a comprehensive physical check of the ride to ensure that the ride is safe.”

Bick also suggested that theme parks be required to adhere to a code of practice with minimum operational and safety standards.

However, with Coroner James McDougall not expected to hand down his findings until next year and Coronial recommendations being non-binding, there is no certainty that they will be adopted.

Bick’s draft recommendations are not likely, according to AAP, to be presented to the Queensland Government before March.

Also advising the inquest into the four fatalities on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride, safety experts stated mechanical hazards on the attraction meant "catastrophic incidents could have occurred at any time".

Commenting on the "massive water drop", which took less than 10 seconds, that led to three of the deceased being flung from the ride and into the mechanised conveyor the advisors confirmed that a crucial delay in stopping the ride caused the jammed raft to be shaken and a fourth person to fall from his seat and into the machinery.

Dr Frank Grigg, of Forensic Engineering Consultants, told the inquest the rafts should have been fitted with aircraft-style seat belts, advising "I believe one of the deceased would still be alive if the raft was fitted with aircraft-style lap belts.

"Why velcro (seat belts) were used is a mystery to me."

The inquest was also told there had not been enough thought about the potential risks when a pump failed, with ride operators "not schooled" on the loss of water.

The report stated the "excessive gap" between the conveyor slats and the fact the conveyor continued operating when the pump failed contributed to the accident.

It was also noted that "most" of the ride had been modified with "little or no consideration given to the effects of safety via a detailed and formal risk assessment process".

The safety report added “previous incident on the TRRR, particularly in 2001 and 2014 should have alerted Dreamworld to the hazards present on the ride.”

Image: The conveyor on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride prior to the October 2016 fatalities showing the "excessive gap" between slats referred to at the Coronial inquest today.

Related Articles

22nd November 2018 - Ardent Leisure reveals theme park investment strategy

2nd November 2018 - Dreamworld begins countdown to Sky Voyager launch

23rd October 2018 - Ardent Leisure names casino and hospitality professional as new Dreamworld Chief Executive

19th October 2018 - Coroner seeks proof that all Dreamworld rides had safety certification

19th October 2018 - Dreamworld manager denies obstructing Queensland Police investigation during emotional Coronial inquiry testimony

18th October 2018 - Families cry as Dreamworld supervisor delivers tearful statement of sympathy over ride fatalities

16th October 2018 - Coroner seeks to have Dreamworld inquest extended

15th October 2018 - Dreamworld inquest told $3,000 water level sensor would have prevented tragedy

12th October 2018 - Dreamworld inquest delay as Ardent Leisure accused of being slow to hand over documents

9th October 2018 - Staff to sue Dreamworld over ‘significant psychological injuries’

8th October 2018 - Reopened Dreamworld inquest hears ‘everybody’ failed to ensure ride’s safety prior to fatalities

16th August 2018 - Queensland Government regulators left inspections of fatal ride up to Dreamworld

27th August 2018 - Dreamworld looks to attract visitors with entry fee drop and LEGO exhibition

25th June 2018 - Inquest evidence causing ‘irretrievable’ damage to Dreamworld’s reputation

4th April 2017 - Ardent Leisure Chief Executive ‘appeared to be ducking for cover’ following Dreamworld fatalities

14th December 2012 - Safe Work Queensland issues health and safety exemptions for inflatables


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 

Digonex

Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

Australian Innovative Systems

Australian Innovative Systems (AISystems) is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators and water…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology

 
 

TRISLEYS HYDRAULIC SERVICES

Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

HTS Group Ltd

HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…

read more

Aquatics / Events / Sport / Technology

 
 

REGUPOL

Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business