Holiday Accidents – An Absence of Health and Safety?
Simpson Millar LLP's holiday law specialists were saddened, if not surprised, to read of yet another incident concerning a holidaymaker becoming injured
as a result of using a waterslide whilst on holiday in Spain.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, a holidaymaker "smashed his face open"
whilst using a waterslide during his stay in Benidorm. There is no indication that the slide was being misused and according to the newspaper the staff at the resort failed to even call an ambulance
after the incident had taken place seemingly being concerned about ushering the injured holidaymaker out of the park.
Simpson Millar LLP's holiday claims team are representing a number of holidaymakers that have been injured
as a result of using waterslides abroad. In most cases it seems that the slides were inherently dangerous
due to design faults or a lack of basic maintenance.
What is the Travel Industry doing to Prevent Holiday Accidents?
We would expect reputable tour operators that are members of ABTA, such as Thomas Cook and TUI UK (the parent company of First Choice Holidays and Thomson Holidays) to make sure that the hotels which they sell only offer facilities that have been safely constructed
and that are regularly maintained and inspected.
We would also expect them to be able to show that the slides have been constructed by a reputable firm
or by a qualified person and that the slides and water flow mechanisms are monitored and regularly serviced.
However, when asked to provide details about the construction of waterslides or to provide records relating to the maintenance of these facilities, our requests are generally met with great reluctance. Tour operators often claim that they are unable to access records that are held
by their own suppliers.
Simpson Millar LLP Calls For Change
At Simpson Millar LLP, we strongly believe that something has to change before there is a fatality
We are calling for hotels, aqua parks and tour operators to take responsibility
and to ensure that the services they provide are safe.
We would also like to see ABTA, which now incorporates the Federation of Tour Operators, to investigate the safety of these slides
and to place on obligation on its members that offer these facilities to carry out mandatory maintenance checks.