Safety breach led to teenager’s fairground trauma
A fairground attendant has been in court after a teenage girl plunged head-first onto concrete when a restraint bar opened on the ride she was on at a York carnival.
The 13-year-old girl escaped serious injury despite falling around four metres from the ‘Cliffhanger Miami Trip’ ride as her friends watched helplessly.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told Selby Magistrates’ Court that attendant Terry Reynolds, 28, of Dewsbury, 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.
The teenager, who has asked not to be named, was at the popular Copmanthorpe Carnival with friends last July. She was among a group of 16 people to get on to the Miami Trip ride, brought to the annual event for the first time. The riders sit in a row as the ride takes them up, down and round at speed.
Less than a minute after the ride started, the restraint bar opened and the girl slid underneath, just missing moving steelwork below and hitting the ground. She was taken to hospital but was discharged later suffering bruising and abrasions.
HSE discovered Mr Reynolds had been warned just two rides earlier there had been a similar problem in that seat. Luckily the earlier rider had been able to hold the bar down with help from friends on either side.
An HSE Inspector 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 bars 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 fair-goer 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.”
Terry Reynolds of Showman’s Ground, Wakefield Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, 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. He was given a three-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £750 compensation to the injured girl.