Assessing the safety record of the Tip Top flat ride

There are three models of the Tip Top ride currently in the UK

There are three models of the Tip Top ride currently in the UK

The Tip Top flat ride model has been involved in a number of accidents around the British Isles in recent years.

As details of another incident emerge, we take a look at a ride with a questionable record of safety.

In May this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued a prohibition notice to the operators of a model of the ride after it began malfunction, injuring two people.

Under normal operation, the ride relies on a degree of momentum to keep the seats sufficiently outward while the hub spins the chais whilst rising into the air.

If it begins to slow while in its upright position, gravity can cause the seats to fall towards the ride’s structure, with the resulting impact capable of causing injury.

‘Risk of injury’

Slowdowns are usually attributed to power losses or fluctuations, but can be a result of other technical problems such as motor failures.

The HSE is an independent government body that enforces the Health and Safety at Work Act

The HSE said of the May incident, which occurred at Barry Island Pleasure Park in Wales, that the ride: “involves a risk due to : 1) unexpected deviations from the normal operations and 2) braking performance of the ride in such circumstances gives rise to the risk of injury to members of the public riding.”

Video footage of a similar incident, where the ride is also incapable of safely responding to a loss of speed, is viewable on YouTube after being uploaded in 2008.

The rides have been on the British fairground circuit for several decades and it is claimed by the National Fairground Archive that a car on one model once become completely detached during operation, but fortunately it did not injure anyone.

Fatal fall

The most serious incident related to the Tip Top occurred in October 2011 in the Irish Republic.

A 31-year-old woman was killed when she slipped through the ride’s restraints at a fair following a Britney Spears concert in Dublin.

Although the ride was deemed not to have malfunctioned, it is another unfortunate event on the Tip Top’s record.