Information sheet - Inflatable amusement devices

This information sheet provides advice for small businesses and workers on hazards and risk controls for inflatable amusement devices in accordance with Work Health and Safety legislation. An inflatable amusement device is fabricated from flexible materials and relies on internal air pressure to maintain its shape.

Land-borne inflatable devices

Inflatable amusement devices can be a hazard if they are not set up and operated according to relevant instructions. Poor inflatable set-up or operation can lead to:

  • the amusement device becoming airborne during strong wind gusts
  • the amusement device collapsing and trapping patrons
  • injury to patrons on amusement devices where they can move freely without supervision e.g. an inflatable device (continuously blown) like a jumping castle.

Inflatable devices should be:

  • secured and anchored with anchor points provided according to the manufacturer’s instructions and relevant technical standards. Where required, a competent person should be engaged to design appropriate anchorage systems (e.g. on hard surfaces where ground anchor stakes cannot be used). When erected indoors, the device should be secured to maintain stability.
  • evacuated when wind gusts exceed the manufacturer’s guidelines or, in the absence of manufacturer’s recommendations, when the wind gusts are over 40 km per hour. Operators should utilise an anemometer to measure wind speed where possible.
  • installed with suitable impact absorbing mats if they are in areas where patrons can fall off the unfenced platform of the inflatable e.g. entrance and exits
  • supervised at all times by people who are competent to operate the device safely
  • monitored so a device is not used at the same time by more than the recommended maximum number of patrons
  • monitored so electrical or other powered components of the inflatable cannot be interfered with by patrons, in particular children
  • inspected regularly for wear or rips in the fabric.

Patrons should be monitored so only those of similar size and weight are on the amusement device at the same time. This will reduce the risk of injury to smaller patrons.

Somersaults, flips or tackling other patrons should not be permitted.

If the land-borne inflatable device is continuously blown with a platform height of 3 metres or more plant and design registration is required.

Water-borne inflatable devices

A water-borne inflatable device is an amusement device that is used on controlled water. For example, these devices may be in pools or as part of a ride where the inflatable is propelled by moving water. Patrons are not generally immersed in water at any time and are not made wet except from incidental splashing.

Close supervision is needed for patrons using water-borne inflatable devices because they can be more unstable and more difficult to control or anchor than land-borne inflatable devices. This can lead to possible injury and drowning. Operators should consider the ability of users to swim.

Control measures should be put in place to prevent patrons being caught between the amusement device and other things like the pool edge, ladders or ropes.

For inflatable pool amusement devices pool operators should:

  • provide adequate pool supervision for patrons 
  • encourage parent or guardian supervision to complement other pool supervision 
  • prepare and maintain emergency plans including procedures to deal with unsafe behaviour and suspected drowning 
  • hold emergency drills to test and practice emergency plans and procedures. If the water-borne inflatable device is continuously blown with a platform height of 3 metres or more, plant and design registration is required. 

Further information

Australian Standards

  • AS 3533.2 Amusement rides and devices, Part 2: Operation and maintenance
  • AS 3533.4.1 Amusement rides and devices, Part 4.1: Specific requirements – Land-borne inflatable devices
  • AS 3533.4.5 Amusement rides and devices, Part 4.5: Specific requirements – Waterborne inflatables

Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Safe Work Australia

Last updated 04 Dec 2023

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