Fairground Owner Fined After 12-Year-Old Falls From Ride

Lawyers Concerned As Ride Owner Ignores Safety Warning From HSE

13.03.2013

By Dave Grimshaw

A fairground owner was fined for breaching health and safety regulations after a 12-year-old girl was severely injured when she fell from a ride at Lostock Hall Carnival near Preston.

The young girl suffered fractures to her pelvis in five places, a lacerated bladder, a cracked bone in her spine, broken finger and bruising to her lungs after she fell several metres from the end seat of the High Roller ride, landing on the platform below while the ride was in motion.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had issued a nationwide safety alert following a similar incident on the same type of ride at a fairground in Halifax in June 2010 where a disabled teenager fell from the end seat. The alert banned fairground operators from allowing passengers to sit in the end seats of similar rides until safety bars had been fitted.

But despite this, Leyland Magistrates Court heard how the owner of the Lostock Hall Carnival fairground, Gary Gore, 52, had ignored the warning and the 12-year-old girl was sat in an end seat on the ride and no additional safety barrier fitted.

He was prosecuted by the HSE following an investigation into the incident on 2 July 2011 and pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations by failing to ensure the safety of passengers on the ride. Mr Gore, of School Street in Bury, was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in prosecution costs.

Sally Rissbrook, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who has helped numerous people injured on fairground rides, said: “This poor young girl suffered very serious injuries in a very nasty fall simply because Mr Gore had ignored a special safety alert requesting that extra safety barriers be installed on the ride in question.

"The HSE says he received the warning personally almost a year before the accident but took no action potentially putting customers at risk.

“We hope that other fairground operators will take note of this case to ensure that their rides are up to date with all safety regulations so that their customers are properly protected and accidents such as this can be avoided.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to Accidents in Public Places.