How to Spot A Dodgy Amusement Ride Operator

How to Spot A Dodgy Amusement Ride Operator

How to Spot A Dodgy Amusement Ride Operator

Photo Credit: carny world – sydney carnies and mrs woog

Everybody wants their event to be a whole lot of fun. But how do you know if your Amusement Ride Provider is doing it safely? Here’s a few things to look out for when looking to hire an Amusement Ride Operator.


Every operator should be able to provide the following as an absolute minimum:

  • Public Liability Insurance,
  • Workers Compensation Insurance, and
  • Working With Children Check details.


However, these items are simply “pay and play” and don’t give you any indication of the type of operation they are running. We would suggest asking to see:

  • WorkCover Ride Registration for mechanical rides,
  • Risk Assessments, and
  • Maintenance Schedules.


Also asking for things such as their Emergency Procedures will help to determine that these things have at least been considered. Reluctance to provide any of this paperwork should be a red flag.

Site Visit

A decent amusement ride operator will always inspect your site before any major event. If they insist that they can see everything they need to see on Google Maps perhaps you should consider another operator.


Every ride should be fenced. Jumping castles require fencing at the entry and exit points and a secure “back of house” where blowers and leads may be running. Each mechanical ride requires it’s own fencing. We have heard of two chair rides being fenced in one circle, with patrons being loaded while the other chair ride was operating! That’s a big NO!


Every tie down point on a inflatable amusement ride (jumping castle) should be secured to the ground. If you see this done with sandbags run for the hills!! If a jumping castle can become airborne with 10 children on it, what do you think a 20kg sandbag will do? It might make a great missile… Each tie down point should be fixed to a peg into the ground, or a stationary fixed object. If you see multiple points unfixed, as in the picture, request that this be rectified immediately.

Unsupervised rides

Each ride requires it’s own trained supervisor. One person cannot supervise two rides simultaneously.

Money Handling

We would be cautious about operators who insist on handling all monies themselves if you have a commission share arrangement. At the very least they should insist on a person associated with the event be there to assist them in the taking of money. We prefer that the event handles that entirely and we keep track with numbered tickets and wristbands.

Creepy Carny

Photo Credit: Carny Collection: Creepy Carny – You Tube

We hope this helps with your decision making when choosing an Amusement Ride Hire Operator in the future. If you have any more questions about safety matters for your event please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 CAMELOT.

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