In 2014 at the Royal Adelaide Show an 8 year old girl suffered fatal injuries when she was thrown from an amusement ride called the Airmaxx. The company that owned the ride and one of the Directors were charged by the regulator SafeWork SA for breaching the Work Health and Safety Act. In addition to this the engineering company engaged by the operator had conducted an engineering inspection 12 days prior to the incident, with it’s Directors were also charged.
What was the charge?
The operator was charged $94,500 for failing to provide and maintain plant in a safe condition, failing to have safe systems of work (documentation/ procedures) and using plant without an authorised design – resulting in person being exposed to risk of death or serious injury.
The Director aws charged $63,000 for failing to ensure the operator complied with its duties under the Act. This Director had extensive involvement day to day in the operation of the Airmaxx.
Due to the financial situation of the Operator and Director, the convictions were recorded but did not order penalties against the defendants.
Why were they charged?
The Director failed to take steps to ensure:
- repairs, maintenance and inspection of equipment was performed by a qualified person
- Safe systems of were provided and maintained (and enforced)
- The operator had a system to record maintenance and repair work as well as recording hazards, risks or injuries relating to the Airmaxx
- The equipment was appropriately registered
Boland v C, J and Sons Amusements Pty Ltd and Jenny-Lee Sullivan  SAET 68