Dangerous near-misses put Dreamworld in more strife

 

Dreamworld is again in strife with Queensland's safety regulator after two more dangerous near-misses at the Gold Coast theme park.

Just weeks after a young girl suffered horrific internal injuries on a waterslide, a patron narrowly escaped serious injury after another slide mishap.

And workers had a lucky escape when the three-tonne arms of the 'swinging rickshaw ride', Pandemonium, fell during maintenance.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has launched an investigation into both incidents which come after the 8-year-old Logan girl was rushed to hospital with shocking internal injuries last month after riding the Fully 6 waterslide at Dreamworld's sister park, WhiteWater World.

The regulator hit Dreamworld's publicly-listed owner Ardent Leisure with safety improvement notices over that incident but sources say the company is appealing.

 

Holiday makers and locals pictured on the Pandamonium ride. Picture: Mike Batterham
Holiday makers and locals pictured on the Pandamonium ride. Picture: Mike Batterham

 

Dreamworld has defended the slide's safety but the girl's furious family has launched legal action, calling in the same lawyers who handled successful compensation claims over the 2016 Thunder River Rapids ride disaster which killed four tourists.

Sources say Ardent was issued with three safety notices over the incident on the Pandemonium ride which is one of three major Dreamworld thrill rides that has been closed for extended maintenance.

A worker is believed to have narrowly escaped being crushed when the ride's arms fell, about a week after the Fully 6 incident.

WHSQ was also alerted over an incident on the Triple Vortex slide last weekend.

"Workplace Health and Safety Queensland confirms that Ardent Leisure has recently notified it of a near miss incident during maintenance on the Pandemonium ride and another minor incident last Saturday where a patron was cleared of any serious injury after riding the Triple Vortex tube slide," a spokesman said.

 

The spokeswoman said the park had acquired the Fully 6 waterslide from a top global manufacturer and it operated strictly in accordance with the maker’s requirement.
The spokeswoman said the park had acquired the Fully 6 waterslide from a top global manufacturer and it operated strictly in accordance with the maker’s requirement.

 

"To ensure patron and worker safety, WHSQ has taken action and continues to investigate these matters".

A Dreamworld spokeswoman said the park had self-reported the Pandemonium incident, which occurred during scheduled maintenance, to WHSQ.

"We … are working cooperatively with them and have received confirmation that they are satisfied with our actions," she said.

"We acknowledge a minor event that took place on the Triple Vortex slide at WhiteWater World and we confirm that a notice was not issued by WHSQ. WHSQ have advised they are satisfied with our actions in relation to this matter."

The spokeswoman said the park had acquired the Fully 6 waterslide from a top global manufacturer and it operated strictly in accordance with the maker's requirements.

"WhiteWater World has requested a review of this notice with WHSQ and the notice is currently stayed," she said.

The theme park said it had made sweeping safety improvements after a damning inquest into the Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy exposed major flaws with ride procedures and maintenance and staff training.

In September, Ardent was fined a record $3.6 million after pleading guilty to breaking workplace health and safety laws.

 

Originally published as Dangerous near-misses put Dreamworld in more strife



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