File photo of a Ferris wheel.
File photo of a Ferris wheel. Rose Hamilton-Barr

Show ride operator 'attacks safety officer with screwdriver'

AN AMUSEMENT ride operator has allegedly become aggressive with a safety officer after his ride was issued with improvement notices at Rockhampton show yesterday.,

The Morning Bulletin understands Workplace Health and Safety Queensland was conducting safety assessments of the rides on Tuesday before the show opening today.

The Ferris wheel, operated by a Brisbane-based operator, DDS Amusements, was found to be in need of rectification.

It is claimed the operator then became aggressive and 'came after the officer with a screwdriver'.

WHSQ confirmed an incident occurred but could not confirm if a screwdriver was involved.

"The incident between the ride operator and our inspector is being investigated and we cannot comment further on it,” a spokesperson said.

"DDS Amusements will be issued with three improvement notices requiring rectification of minor issues and two electrical safety protection notices.

"However, there is no evidence to indicate the Ferris wheel presents a serious risk to health and safety from being operated.”

WHSQ and the Electrical Safety Office visit shows, fetes and events across Queensland where rides are temporarily located.

"If our inspectors find a serious safety breach, they will prohibit the ride from being operated until it is safe.”

WHSQ expected ride operators to be "well aware” of their obligations under workplace health and safety laws.

Amusement rides are subject to a regular inspection and registration regime.

"All inspectors have a difficult job and deal regularly with highly emotive situations concerning worker safety,” a spokesperson said.

"Our inspectors are well equipped to do their jobs and the Office of Industrial Relations is committed to supporting them to do so without fear for their own safety.”

As of about 10am today the Ferris wheel was not operating, however was up and running by 12pm.