A fairground accident in which a young boy suffered a serious injury was entirely preventable, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The three-year-old caught his hand between the wheels and the track of a children’s train ride at the Shiremoor Treat in Shiremoor, Tyne and Wear, an annual event that attracts hundreds of schoolchildren from local schools.
He required surgery and stitches following the incident on 6 July 2013, but has since made a good recovery.
Ran over the boy’s fingers
North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how the child was visiting the fairground with his grandmother and cousins.
He had been on the bouncy castle and was sitting on the steps of the Mickey Express train ride as his grandmother put his shoes back on.
But as she was tying his laces, he leant back and stretched his arms behind him. The train started up and ran over his fingers.
The ride operator, Jamie Clark, of Serlby Park, Hetton Le Hole, Tyne and Wear, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £600.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Shuna Rank said it was an entirely preventable accident.
She claimed the risk of trapping was obvious and should have been identified by Mr Clark in his risk assessment.
Health and safety rules apply to the maintenance and operation of fairground rides. If they are followed properly the operators of the rides can ensure all the riders are safe at all times, but accidents do happen.
Risk assessments are carried out to assess and address potential dangers.
Ms Rank said the provision of a fence around the ride was a simple precaution that would have prevented the accident.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 27, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown