1. Preparing and planning for the use and operation of amusement rides, attractions or fireworks
When planning the use and safe operation of amusement rides, attractions or fireworks, the principal and/or their delegate, in consultation with health and safety representatives (HSRs), school council and school staff, must work with the chosen operator to plan safe set-up and operation of the ride, to identify risks to health and safety and eliminate those risks, so far as reasonably practicable.
The OHS Consultation and Communication Procedure contains further information and provides the practical, step-by-step instructions for implementing the OHS Consultation and Communication Policy.
You can contact the OHS Advisory Service and regional OHS support officers for assistance with this process.
1.2 Identifying risks and hazards
The use and operation of amusement rides, attractions and fireworks involves additional risk beyond that usually managed in the school environment and requires appropriate risk planning and management.
The principal and/or their delegate must:
- work with the chosen operator to identify and mitigate risks that may arise from the operation of the rides, attractions and fireworks, referring to the relevant WorkSafe Victoria advice and guidance (refer to links in the section below)
- ensure, where amusement rides, attractions or fireworks are being considered as part of a school fete or other school activity (such as a graduation event), the risk planning for the amusement rides, attraction or fireworks is undertaken separately, using this policy and procedure, and in addition to the more general risk planning for the fete or other school activity.
1.3 Controlling the risks
To manage the risks relating to amusement rides, attractions or fireworks, schools must:
- work with the operator to follow the relevant WorkSafe Victoria advice:
- document the actions taken to ensure the safe operation of the ride, attraction or fireworks activity.
Before using and operating amusement rides, attractions or fireworks, the school must ensure that the proposed operator has provided:
- a signed written agreement – refer to ‘Written agreements’ below
- the signed Contractor OHS induction checklist or equivalent template
- information about the safe use of the item
- information on the hazard identification, risk assessment and control of risks that have been carried out in relation to the design and manufacture of the plant within the control of the operator. Note: If it is not practicable for the operator to provide this information, then the operator must be able to ensure the risk arising from use is eliminated or reduced so far as is practicable and in line with any applicable industry standards
- records showing that inspections and maintenance have occurred on the item between hirings and leasings
- evidence that any of the operator’s employees or volunteers who will be attending the event have a valid Working with Children Clearance, and that the operator has a Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy, a Child Safety Code of Conduct and otherwise complies with the Child Safe Standards and with the school’s policies in relation to child safety
- evidence that staff have qualifications and/or experience for their specific role – for example, to operate fireworks, the provider must have a pyrotechnician licence
- current public liability insurance certificate (minimum $10 million) covering the ride or activity supplied, provided by an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) approved insurer
- for fireworks only – evidence of notifying the relevant authorities (and seeking approval where required) for the conduct of fireworks displays. Licensed pyrotechnicians who intend to set off display fireworks, theatrical fireworks or Chinese firecrackers must give at least 7 days' notice to WorkSafe. The local council, shire and other relevant bodies such as the fire authority must also be notified by the pyrotechnician (refer to Using fireworks: WorkSafe )
- evidence of WorkSafe Victoria registration of design, where applicable. Certain amusement rides and attractions, such as most inflatable devices, require registration of design. Ask the operator if registration of design is required for the amusement ride or attraction they intend to operate
- for land-borne inflatable amusement devices, such as jumping castles – information about risk management processes in place for anchoring, monitoring wind speed, providing safe access and preventing unauthorised access, consistent with WorkSafe Victoria’s guidance on land-borne inflatable amusement
- for rides requiring patron restraints – evidence of the compliance of their equipment with ride patron control restraint systems and their risk control measures regarding patron restraint, procedures for screening patrons, and checking that patrons have been properly restrained before the amusement ride starts, consistent with WorkSafe Victoria’s information about effective patron restraint .
The above listed documentation is considered essential for the safe operation of amusement rides, attractions and fireworks and must be obtained before approval is sought from school council.
The principal and/or their delegate must ensure that local risk management strategies and policies are adhered to when planning events where third-party operators are engaged to operate amusement rides, attractions or fireworks.
School council approvals
Once the risk planning and management has been undertaken and approved by the school principal with the amusement ride, attraction or fireworks operator, the school council approves the engagement of the operation and the use of school land (for events being held on school site) to the extent that any contract or licence agreement with a third party is required.
For events being held on school sites, if the School council agreement for the provision of services – amusement devices (staff login required) template is used, approval for the use of school land is not required.
For events being held on non-school sites, school councils will need to approve any written agreements provided by the third-party operator and owner of the site. Principals or their delegates must contact the Commercial Law Unit at email@example.com for advice regarding any written agreements provided in this scenario.
The school council should be provided with the risk management plan when it is asked to consider entering into the contract or agreement.
Prior to the use and operation of an amusement ride, attraction or fireworks, there must be a written agreement in place between the school council and the ride or firework operator, setting out the terms upon which the school council will permit the operator to come onto the premises (on school sites and non-school sites) and set up their equipment. Including terms regarding:
- indemnity and insurance requirements
- health and safety requirements
- details of the particular service to be provided
- the financial arrangements
- the roles and responsibilities of each party
- the child safety requirements.
For the purpose of engaging third-party operators on a school site, school councils are strongly encouraged to use the department’s template School council agreement for the provision of services – amusement devices (staff login required). If this template is not used, or if it is used but is modified, it is recommended that school councils submit the agreement to the Commercial Law Unit for review before it is signed via firstname.lastname@example.org
When engaging third-party operators at a non-school site, schools must contact the Commercial Law Unit for advice regarding any written agreements provided by the third-party operator and owner of the site. Refer to the Contractors – Insurance and Contract Arrangements Policy.
Supervision of students
For activities involving amusement rides, attractions or fireworks conducted during school hours where the activity is limited to enrolled students only (as opposed to a fete where parents, carers and general members of the public may also attend), the principal and/or their delegate must ensure:
- the activities are under the direct control of a teacher employed by the department or the school council at all times, with at least one other staff member present (note: staff can include a range of adults including parent volunteers and specialist instructors)
- the activities have an adequate number of teachers employed by the department or school council, in accordance with the Supervision of Students Policy and local risk management strategies and policies
- any additional supervision requirements based on the level of risk of the activity and the needs of the participating students (for example, age, known or foreseeable behaviour concerns, disability) have been considered.
For activities involving amusement rides, attractions or fireworks outside school hours involving general members of the public or the broader school community (such as a school fete or school celebration involving parents), parents and carers are responsible for the care and supervision of students.
For non-public (as opposed to public events such as a fete where parents, carers and general members of the public may also attend) events on school sites that involve amusement rides, attractions or fireworks, schools must ensure that parents/carers are notified of the activity and written consent is obtained. Written consent differs according to the location of the event:
- For events held on school sites, use the Amusement rides, attractions and fireworks parent consent form .
- For events held on non-school sites, use the parent consent form in the Excursions Policy.
Parents/carers must be provided with sufficient details of the event to enable them to make an informed decision, including details of the amusement attraction(s). Where obtained, the school must keep a record of the parent/carer consent.
A student may provide their own consent to participate, if they are considered to be a mature minor for the purpose of that decision in accordance with the Mature Minors and Decision Making Policy.
In all circumstances, parents/carers should be given the opportunity to update their child’s medical information.
Reviewed 10 October 2022