Accidents Due To A Lack Of Inspection


As the weather starts to warm up, more and more families will be going out to zoos, playgrounds and to a local fair. But, as this next example will show, the fairground can be a potentially hazardous place.

Hit on the Head by Handrail

Between 2001 and 2008 there were 130 non-fatal accidents to the public at fairgrounds where people were hit by moving or falling objects according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Although numbers have been falling over the last few years, accidents are still happening at fairgrounds and vigilance needs to be taken.

Back in December, the HSE reported that a fair ride owner at the Goose Fair in Nottingham was fined due to a handrail that fell and hit a woman on the head. Edward Walker, the HSE inspector on this case said that it was an "entirely preventable" accident. As the customer stood alongside the ride, the handrail fell resulting in a head wound which required stitches and pain in her back and shoulders.

Inspections Should Have Taken Place

After an investigation by the HSE, they found that the handrail brackets at the ride's walkway were significantly corroded causing the bracket to fail. They also found that it wasn't just one bracket that was corroded, but 28 of the 30 fixings connected to the handrail were corroded, cracked or buckled.

The HSE inspector commented, "The corrosion had clearly developed over an extended period of time." This was clearly something the owner should have been aware of.

There are guidelines for fairground owners to follow in regards to inspections of their rides and attractions. Nottingham Magistrates Court noted that the regular inspections would have rooted out the problem with the brackets.

Not Such A Fun Fair

No one goes to a fun fair expecting the evening to end with an injury. Although they can be fun places that the whole family can enjoy, this case just highlights how dangers are present and accidents can occur.

It is the responsibility of the fair owners to make sure those that come to enjoy their attractions leave unharmed, but as this has shown that isn't always the case. A personal injury such as this is completely avoidable and the responsibility of the fair owner to prevent, and if they don't they should be subject to the law.

Misty Cawley, a Leeds based Personal Injury Solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP has seen this type of case before:

"We see many cases where people are injured whilst visiting a fair ground attraction. Incidents range from tripping over the large cables and wires that power the rides to faulty rides or equipment."

"With such a lot of equipment, rides and people in one place it is imperative that the owners and organisers have given consideration to the health and safety of those attending, especially when many of those attending can be families with young children.

"This investigation by the HSE highlights how avoidable these incidents can be if regular inspections and the appropriate maintenance are carried out."

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