Amusement park fails to ensure safety of rides leading to young girl’s injury… An owner of a fairground attractions park in Birmingham has been prosecuted after a 12-year old girl badly injured her leg when she was thrown from a malfunctioning ride on 28 October 2009.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the accident occurred when the girl fell three metres to the ground below after the Tagada fairground ride tilted in mid-air and the barrier gate designed to prevent users of the ride from falling had a gap of sufficient space for her to fall through.
The girl didn’t fracture any bones but did suffer a 7cm gash on her shin bone, a wound that troubles here even two years after the accident as it continues to ache and throbs particularly in Winter time. The accident victim also cannot participate in any physical activity or sports at school as she fears further injuring her leg and she has developed a fair of using fairground rides since her fall.
The Tagada ride was investigated by a team of HSE officials after the accident. It is driven by two large steel rams and tilts at wide angles up to three metres in the air as the riders are lifted, bounced and spun around. The investigation found that a horizontal rail in the barrier gate that would have prevented the young girl’s fall had been missing for a period of several months and had not been replaced.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Pam Folsom said:
“This was an entirely avoidable incident that resulted in a serious injury to a child. This is more than just an afternoon out that was spoiled, a child has suffered lasting effects from what happened.
“Fairground operators must inspect rides for faults every day before allowing people to use them. In this case, the gap in the gate had been there for several months before the incident, so the ride had clearly not been checked properly during this time, which there simply is no excuse for.
“Free guidance on safe practice at fairgrounds and amusement parks is available from HSE. All operators must follow this carefully to ensure they don’t put members of the public – often children – at risk.”
The owner of the fairground attraction, a resident of Nottingham,pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which requires employers to ensure that they maintain work equipment and facilities to adequate safety standards. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.