Fairground owner fined following severe injury

High RollerA fairground owner who ignored a safety alert has been fined £18,000 following an accident which severely injured a girl.

In July 2011, the 12-year-old was thrown from the High Roller flat ride at Lostock Hall Carnival near Preston.

She suffered fractures to her pelvis in five places, a lacerated bladder, cracked bone in her spine, broken finger and bruising to her lungs.

Gary Gore, 52, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was also ordered to pay £12,000 prosecution costs.

The accident took place a year after authorities warned of a potential failure mechanism on the type of ride in question.

‘Did not act’

The court heard that Gore ignored a safety alert handed to him in person by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors a year previously.

The alert banned fairground operators from allowing passengers to sit in the end seats of similar rides until safety bars had been fitted.

The warning was distributed through the Showmen’s Guild – the national association for fairground operators.

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

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

Following the case, HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “The 12-year-old girl may well be affected by her injuries for the rest of her life because Mr Gore did not act on the safety alert issued by HSE.

“He was given a copy of the warning in person by a HSE inspector nearly a year before the incident, but the young girl was still allowed to sit in the end seat of the ride.

“Mr Gore had failed to fit new safety bars to the ride, despite having over a year in which he could have arranged for this to be done. As a result, passengers were likely to have been put at risk for several months.

“Safety alerts are issued for a reason and there’s no excuse for them not to be followed. This prosecution should act as a warning to business owners of the potential consequences of ignoring them.”