Are you interested in joining the lucrative and rewarding Australian inflatables market?
Already valued at more than $4.1 billion worldwide, industry experts expect this niche to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 4.9% by 2023-2031. Yet, success hinges on compliance.
If you’re planning to own and operate a commercial inflatables business in this country, you’ll need to follow Australian Standard AS 3533.4.1:2018.
Prepared by SAI Global, this guideline provides regulations on how to ensure all Australian amusement rides and devices are safe and secure. From initial design and construction to in-service inspection, the standard covers every stage.
Though the material can be dense, it’s critical reading for anyone looking to turn their interest in inflatable jumping castles into a legitimate, income-generating business. Today, we’re exploring a few facets of this standard and how our company can help you meet them.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
What Is Australian Standard AS 3533.4.1:2018?
First, let’s explore the background behind this standard.
Australian members of the Joint StandardsAustralia/Standards New Zealand Committee, ME-05 came together to develop the standard. It superseded the former Australian Standard (AS) 3533.1—1997 and AS 3533.1 Supp1—200.
SAI Global published the official standard on Oct 17, 2018. An industry-recognized leader in the risk and compliance space, SAI releases standards and legislation for myriad types of business leaders to follow. Its focus areas span from medical devices to food safety.
Australian Standard AS 3533.4.1:2018 includes guidelines around the design, manufacture, and construction of both amusement devices and passenger ropeways. The first category includes inflatable devices that are continuously blown with a platform height of three metres or higher.
Let’s break that jargon down a little.
“Continuously blown” means that your inflatable relies on a continuous supply of air pressure to keep its shape. You’ll measure your inflatable’s platform height starting at the top of the surface supporting the platform to the top surface of the platform itself, measured with the device inflated but unloaded.
As a whole, this guide applies to anyone who regulates, designs or manufactures such devices. The latest version of AS 3533.4.1:2018 includes separating inflatables-specific requirements (as well as those specific to roller coasters) into distinct sections for easier reference.
Section 2.1 includes guidelines that cover inflatable devices and their use. Let’s take a look at a few of the top considerations to keep in mind.
AS 3533.4.1:2018 is the Australian Standard for amusement rides and devices, specifically for inflatable amusement devices, which includes jumping castles. Here are some of the key design standards and guidelines outlined by the AS 3533.4.1:2018:
Manufacturing guidelines :
- Design load: Jumping castles must be designed to support a maximum load that takes into account the maximum number of users, user weight and user activity. The design load must not be exceeded.
- Anchor points: The jumping castle must have enough anchor points to ensure that it is secured to the ground or other suitable surface. The number and position of the anchor points should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Australian Standards.
- Safety netting: The jumping castle must have safety netting or other suitable barriers around the perimeter of the jumping surface. The netting must be high enough to prevent users from falling off the jumping surface and must be able to withstand the forces created by user activity.
- Entrance and exit: The jumping castle must have clearly marked entrances and exits. The entrance should have a ramp or other suitable means of access. The entrance and exit must be monitored by a responsible adult to ensure that users are entering and exiting safely.
- Slide design: If the jumping castle includes a slide, the design must ensure that users can safely access the slide and slide down it without the risk of injury. The slide must have suitable support and be securely attached to the jumping castle.
- Material quality: The jumping castle must be made from high-quality materials that are suitable for their intended use. The materials should be able to withstand the forces created by user activity and be resistant to tearing or puncturing.
- Manufacturing standards: The jumping castle must be manufactured in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Australian Standards. The manufacturing process should include quality control measures to ensure that the jumping castle is safe for use.
These are some of the key design standards and guidelines outlined by the AS 3533.4.1:2018 for jumping castles. It’s important to follow these standards and guidelines to ensure that jumping castles are safe for use and minimize the risk of injury.
General Guidelines for Registering and Hiring
The standard mandates that anyone providing an amusement device, including an inflatable, designated for entertainment use by the general public must follow registration steps.
First, you must register the device’s design, along with the device itself, with your local regulator. This first step is critical, as you cannot allow anyone to use your inflatable until you register it.
Then, you’ll need to have the device inspected by a chartered professional engineer or someone qualified to be on the National Professional Engineers Register.
This expert will inspect your device on the following main categories, among others:
- Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing
- Log Books and Manuals
Moreover, anyone who hires an inflatable for commercial use must ensure that it’s registered. They must also make sure the registration is current, and that all required maintenance is up-to-date.
Installation, Inspection, and Control
The standard details that an inflatable amusement device can become a hazard if it isn’t set up and operated in accordance with relevant instructions. In particular, inferior setup or operation can cause:
- The device to become airborne during strong gusts of wind
- The device to collapse and track patrons
- Injury to patrons using the device in areas where they can move about without supervision, such as on a continuously blown jumping castle
As such, it’s important to follow safe setup procedures when installing your inflatable.
In accordance with AS 3533.4.1:2018, owners and operators should secure and anchor the inflatable with anchor points according to manufacturer’s instructions. They should also ensure that the ground is suitable for the points.
In the event of inclement weather, evacuate the inflatable when wind gusts exceed the guidelines detailed by the manufacturer or when they are stronger than 40 km per hour.
Other installation and setup-specific guidelines include:
You should use suitable impact-absorbing mats if you set up your inflatable in an area where patrons could fall off the inflatable’s unfenced platform.
You should have competent supervisors on staff to keep watch on the inflatable at all times. All supervisors should be capable of operating the device in a safe manner.
To ensure the safety of patrons, supervisors must monitor the inflatable to ensure it does not exceed the recommended maximum number of users. Additionally, they must prevent children and other patrons from interacting or interfering with any electrical or powered components of the device.
To meet weight distribution requirements, supervisors should monitor the device to ensure that the persons using it are of a similar size and weight. This helps keep smaller patrons safe, as does prohibiting somersaults, flips or tackling.
Along with supervision and monitoring, operators should perform regular inspections on the device to check for any rips or holes to be repaired.
Specifics for Water-Borne Inflatables
Nothing takes an inflatable to the next level like adding water to the mix. A blow-up water slide, climbing iceberg, or floating trampoline can make a great addition to any event.
Yet, inflatables on water have their own set of guidelines as set forth by AS 3533.4.1:2018. If your water-borne inflatable is continuously blown with a platform height of three metres or more, you’ll need to register it and follow special guidelines.
Let’s review a few in high-level detail.
Definition of Device Type
An inflatable amusement device that is used on a controlled body of water is referred to as a water-borne inflatable. For example, you may install one in a pool or as a part of a ride, where moving water propels the device.
In these cases, patrons won’t get into the water at any point. Besides incidental splashing, they shouldn’t get wet.
Supervision and Control Measures
Inflatable devices that are waterborne can become more unstable and harder to control or anchor than their land borne counterparts. They can also lead to serious injuries and drowning. As such, they require close supervision at all times.
Installers and operators should put specific control measures in place to ensure that patrons cannot become trapped in between the device and nearby equipment. This can include the edge of the pool as well as any ropes or ladders.
Water-borne inflatable device-specific controls include:
- Hiring special supervision to watch over the pool
- Encouraging guardian supervision in addition to pool supervision
- Creating and maintaining an emergency plan that details how to respond to suspected drownings or behavioural issues
- Carrying out emergency drills to test and practice emergency procedures
How Australian Inflatables Ensures Compliance
3533.4.1:2018 is essential. But with its detailed guidelines and regulations, it can be overwhelming for new business owners to ensure they’re following all the rules. That’s why at Australian Inflatables, we’re here to help.
We take pride in offering a vast inventory of commercial-grade inflatables that meet and exceed AS 3533.1 2009 standards. Our products feature reinforced technology, such as extra stitching in areas that require high tensile strength, and come equipped with all required safety accessories designed for commercial amusement devices. This attention to detail not only ensures that our products are of the highest quality but also makes routine inspections, maintenance, and upkeep a breeze.
Work with our team of designers to create a unique inflatable that suits your needs and outshines the competition. Trust that the product you receive from Australian Inflatables meets industry standards and is compliant with AS 3533.4.1:2018. We prioritize quality and compliance, ensuring that you operate your business safely and within regulations. Invest in our inflatables for peace of mind.
Yes, you’ll be responsible for carrying out and complying with the remainder of the operating and maintenance requirements. However, you’re a major step ahead when you purchase your supplies from a reputable manufacturer. Check out all our jumping castles for sale here
Meet and Exceed AS 3533.4.1:2018 at Work
Keeping up with industry guidelines can prove to be quite a challenge, particularly when you’re running a business that has the potential to put customers at risk. That’s why it’s crucial to stay informed of the latest safety protocols and standards. By doing so, you can ensure that your business is operating smoothly and securely.
The good news? Complying with Australian Standard 3533.4.1:2018 doesn’t have to be a burden. These mandates are in place to help you create a safe and successful environment that encourages customers to come back for more.
When you’re ready to turn your love for inflatables into a commercial venture, we’d love to help. Take a look at some of our inflatable games to get started and learn more about what we do.
Any questions? Contact us at any time. We’ll help you navigate these important and exciting next steps so your business can start soaring.