'Crazy Frog' and high speed fairground rides to be targeted in safety crackdown

Fairgrounds and theme parks will face extra checks this summer following a ‘string’ of incidents.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will carry out 100 inspections on popular rides such as Round Ups, Crazy Frogs, Twists, high speed rides and Star Flyers.

Each will be inspected to make sure that they are safe for both workers and passengers to use, and are being correctly maintained and operated.

The new inspections come following ride-related incidents across the UK, most recently when two women fell from a ride in Cardiff.

HSE inspector David Kivlin said: ‘When there is a failure or incorrect operation of a ride it can result in catastrophic consequences.

‘HSE recognises that recent incidents, including the prosecution of operators following a fatal incident in March 2016 involving inflatable devices, have raised public awareness of the potential for injury and harm to users of such devices when they are not set up, maintained and operated in-line with manufacturer guidance or good practice standards.

‘HSE’s overall strategy is to promote the safe use of fairground rides and inflatable devices and in doing so reduce the risk of such catastrophic incidents to as low as is reasonably practicable.’

The workplace regulator will use its new inspection campaign to promote the safe use of certain rides.

Starting this week, HSE will carry out 100 targeted inspections of specific fairground rides in a time period spanning to September 2023.

The inspection programme comes as the regulator works to build upon intervention work to address emerging safety issues in the fairground industry.

The HSE also continues to investigate two incidents involving Twist rides which took place at Cavendish Park, Barrow, in August 2021 and Cardiff Winter Wonderland in November 2022.

Probe are also ongoing into high speed ride incidents at Hull Fair in October 2019 Yiewsley Wood, West Drayton, in April 2018 as well as Brockwell Park, London, and Penny Pie Park, Barnsley, which both took place in August 2019.

In addition, HSE say they are aware of an incident involving a Star Flyer ride at Planet Fun, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, in July 2021.

Should inspectors from the regulator’s National Fairground Inspection Team (NFIT) identify any ongoing risk of serious personal injury then enforcement action will be taken.

Any action would be according to HSE’s Enforcement Management Model.

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