Safety of fairground attractions
Funfairs are traditional meeting places for young and old alike. Fairground attractions are becoming larger, faster and more spectacular, so it is important to follow the recommended safety requirements in order to guarantee the safety of users and spectators.
Operators of fairground attractions are responsible for this.
A fairground attraction is:
- a non-permanent installation, activated by a non-human energy source,
- for the propulsion of people,
- for the purposes of amusement and entertainment.
Examples of fairground attractions are Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, carousels, bumper cars and dodgems, ‘caterpillar’ vehicles etc.
Fairground attractions fall in two categories:
- type A fairground attractions:
fairground attractions where the people propelled into the air reach a speed of over 10 metres per second or a height above the ground of over 5 metres;
- type B fairground attractions:
fairground attractions that are not type A fairground attractions.
A fairground attraction can only be put into service when it complies with the general safety requirements as foreseen in the law of 9 February 1994 on the safety of products and services.
The requirements of this law are supplemented and developed in the Royal Decree of 18 June 2003 regarding the operation of fairground attractions.
A fairground attraction can only be operated if it meets safety requirements. To this end, the following steps must be carried out:
- a risk assessment;
- drafting preventive measures;
- application of these preventive measures by the operator during the establishment and operation of the attraction;
- conducting a detailed on-site inspection before the fairground ride is made available to the public;
- conducting a maintenance inspection at least once a year;
- conducting an audit at least once every three years or every ten years, depending on the type of fairground attraction.
Depending on the nature of the check and the type of fairground ride, the risk assessment and monitoring are carried out by the operator themselves, a technical expert, an independent body or accredited body .
The requirements that these individuals and bodies must meet are specified in the annex to the Royal Decree of 18 June 2003 regarding the operation of fairground rides .
The warnings and notices on the safe use of the fairground attraction for the users should be written in at least the language(s) of the linguistic region where the fairground attraction is located. These warnings and notices must be indicated in a clearly legible manner and be in a conspicuous location clearly visible to users.
It is forbidden to display the disclaimer ‘Use at your own risk’ (or any other similar disclaimer).
Serious incidents and accidents must be reported immediately to the central contact point.
A serious accident is a fatality or accident which causes or may cause permanent injury.
A serious incident is an incident that results or could result in a serious accident
- Sécurité des produits et des services, loi 09-02-1994
- Questions et réponses sur l’interprétation de la loi du 9 février 1994
- Exploitation des attractions foraines, AR 18-06-2003
- Critères de fonctionnement et modalités de contrôle du fonctionnement des organismes intervenants, AR 27-04-2007
- Liste des organismes agréés pour le contrôle des attractions foraines
- Loi du 9 février 1994 relative à la sécurité des produits et des services
- Arrêté royal du 18 juin 2003 relatif à l’exploitation des attractions foraines
- Arrêté royal du 27 avril 2007 déterminant les critères de fonctionnement et les modalités de contrôle du fonctionnement des organismes intervenants