No fun at the fair as teen suffers personal injury falling from ride

Published: 22/09/2011

A thirteen-year-old girl has been awarded £750 compensation after she plunged head first to the ground when the restraint bar on a fairground ride opened.

The girl, who was on the Miami Trip ride at a York carnival, fell four metres onto concrete after sliding underneath the open safety bar. She was taken to hospital but luckily escaped any serious personal injury and was discharged with bruises and abrasions.

Terry Reynolds, the fairground attendant in charge of the ride, has “pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act by failing to take reasonable care of those affected by his work activities”¹.

Following a Health and Safety investigation, it transpired that Reynolds had “failed to make sure the safety bar on the young girl’s seat was locked in the closed position, despite being told the same bar had opened two rides earlier.”¹

Julian Franklin, the prosecuting Health and Safety Executive, said:

“Mr Reynolds’ job was not difficult, but it was crucial, and had he been doing it properly, this would not have happened. His cavalier approach to safety could have cost the girl untold damage.

“He failed in his prime responsibility of locking the restraint bar securely on every single seat and then checking, with a shake, to be 100 per cent certain. This young girl was immensely lucky not to have been seriously injured.

“What beggars belief is that he failed to act when told of the near-miss experienced by another fairgoer only two rides before. All attendants on fairground rides need to be aware that they are the last link in the safety chain as lives depend on them.”¹

As this case draws to a close, the HSE are set to launch a separate inquiry regarding another fairground accident after 22 holiday makers were left hanging in a vertical position on a ride at a Skegness theme park.

Whilst the majority of injuries appeared to be whiplash, one woman was taken into hospital with life-threatening head injuries. She was later discharged.

¹Health and Safety Executive (Sept 11)

Content correct at time of publication

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