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Theme park tragedy sparks safety blitz

November 3, 2016

As expected, theme parks in Queensland are currently under the microscope as Workplace inspectors begin carrying out checks on amusement rides as part of a month-long safety blitz.

The tragic events at Dreamworld have put workplace safety under the gaze of investigators, safety professionals and the general public alike. What can the transport industry and its supply chain learn from the tragedy?

Dreamworld remains closed to the public as Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said urgent action was required to ensure the safety of theme park visitors following the tragic deaths of four tourists on a rafting ride at the park on Tuesday 25 October 2016.

“Tuesday’s tragic events reverberated around Australia and the world, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives,” said Minister Grace.

The public safety blitz has begun at Dreamworld and will move across to Wet’n’Wild, Sea World, Aussie World, Australia Zoo and Movie World.

Minister Grace said the inspectors would be closely checking inspection, maintenance and repair and manufacturer documentation in all the theme parks.

The audits will be completed by the end of November and be carried out by specialist inspectors and engineers, she said.

Training and procedures for ride operators will also be scrutinised. Records, along with controls and processes for taking out and returning equipment to service, will also come under the spotlight in these safety audits.

For your business …

If you swapped the term ‘theme parks’ for ‘transport companies’, or substituted Dreamworld for your company name, how would that affect your operations?

The damage to a brand following a safety incident can be significant, as Dreamworld is discovering.

But Dreamworld’s incident is also having a flow-on effect on other theme parks. Ask yourself, are you as confident about taking your family on theme parks rides as you were a month ago?

If there was a heavy vehicle road safety incident in your supply chain, what would be the flow-on effect to your business? Are you taking all reasonable steps to ensure that your supply chain partners are compliant with their Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law?

While you might not be operating a theme park, the damage to your business’s profitability from a public backlash following a road safety incident, or the loss of productivity through an enforced closure or investigation, plus a collapse of workers’ confidence in your safety procedures, could be telling.

Get a copy of CoR Adviser, written in plain English by the transport law experts at Holding Redlich. It’s full of information about how you can meet your CoR obligations and what steps to take to avoid prosecution from doing the wrong thing (or from doing nothing at all).

Subscribe today. CoR Adviser is perfect for business-owners who value their workers’ safety and also recognise the damage that can be done by taking safety for granted.