Fairgrounds are traditionally a gathering place for people of all ages. As fairground attractions become larger, faster and more daring, it is important to follow the relevant safety rules, in order to guarantee the safety of users and bystanders.
Fairground attraction operators are responsible in this regard.
A fairground attraction is:
- a non-permanent installation, powered by a non-human energy source;
- designed to propel people;
- for the entertainment and/or enjoyment of consumers.
Examples of fairground attractions include: the big wheel, swings, carousels, bumper cars or so-called dodgems, the 'caterpillar', ...
Fairground attractions are divided into two categories:
- Fairground attractions of type A:
These are fairground attractions in which the propelled person reaches a speed of more than 10 metres/second or reaches a height of more than 5 metres above the ground.
- Fairground attractions of type B:
Every other attraction that does not fall into the type A category.
A fairground attraction may only be operated if it complies with the general safety regulations determined in the Code of Economic Law, Book IX on products and services safety.
The requirements in this law are supplemented and elaborated in the Royal Decree of 18 June 2003 on the operation of fairground attractions.
Explanation of the Royal Decree of 18 June 2003 (PDF, 71.15 KB) on the operation of fairground attractions
Conditions for the use and operation of fairground attractions
A fairground attraction may be operated if it complies with the safety regulations. To this end, the following steps must be taken:
- Conducting a risk analysis;
- Drafting preventive measures;
- Application of these preventive measures by the operator when setting up and running the attraction;
- a thorough inspection before allowing public access to the fairground attraction;
- conducting a maintenance inspection at least once a year;
- carrying out 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 inspection and the type of fairground attraction, risk analysis and inspections shall be carried out by the operator himself, a technically competent person, an independent body or an accredited body.
The requirements to be met by these persons or bodies are summarised in the annex to the Royal Decree of 18 June 2003 on the operation of fairground attractions.
Warnings and marked instructions regarding the consumer's safe usage of the fairground attraction must be clearly legible in the languages of the linguistic region in which the attraction is installed. Furthermore, these must be displayed in a clear and noticeable place.
Signs with warnings such as “use at your own risk” (or similar) are not allowed.
Official position of the FPS Economy on the use of cranes to lift people during leisure events (PDF, 41.2 KB)
The purpose of a risk analysis is to be able to demonstrate that all hazards have been identified, that the related risks have been assessed and that any unacceptable risk have been made acceptable with the use of preventive measures.
On the web page “Services risk analysis: what should be included?” the FPS Economy clarifies what the risk analysis should be, along with its content and what should be included.
Obligation to report
Serious incidents and accidents must be reported immediately to the Central Help Desk. Use the accident or serious incident notification form (DOCX, 44.98 KB) (in French).
A serious accident is a fatal accident or an accident that causes or could cause permanent injuries.
A serious incident is an incident that leads or could lead to a serious accident.