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Fairground operator in court after toddler falls through gap in fence

Date:
13 May 2014

A fairground ride operator has been fined after a two-year-old boy fell through a gap in a perimeter fence.

The toddler who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was with his family at Coney Beach in Porthcawl on 25 March 2012 and had just got off the “Red Baron” plane ride operated by C Patrick Evans Entertainments Ltd when the incident happened.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted the company for safety breaches at Bridgend Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard (12 May) how panels had been removed from the safety fence around the ride so they could be painted. The boy was walking away from the ride when he fell around four feet through one of the gaps, injuring his face and head.

He was kept in hospital for 24 hours for observation but sustained no long-term injuries.

C Patrick Evans Entertainments Ltd, of Coney Beach, Porthcawl was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £7,900 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Catherine Toozer said:

“Fairground rides are large complex machines which have the power to seriously injure or even cause death if not managed properly.  It is utterly vital that those in control make sure fencing is up to the job of keeping children, and others who may not appreciate the risks, away from them when running.

“The ride owner has a duty to ensure that all fencing provided is maintained and kept in an efficient state of repair at all times.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace  health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It  does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or  revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority  partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Section -3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at: press.hse.gov.uk .

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