Fairground rides - stay safe

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Fairground rides, children and adults love them, well most of them. They are usually a treat, a day out to have a fun experience.

A number of the rides are large, powerful and fast,  able to throw you around,  take you very high, spin you around and hopefully give you a good thrill. Part of the charm of the fairground rides is the thought of your breath being taken away and the thought of inherent danger.
So whilst we are all having fun,  we also wish to be safe and make sure that our friends and family are also safe. Even though a lot of the new rides have to go through a number of safety checks to ensure they are safe before the public use them, they will also require regular maintaining, inspections to remain in good working order.  This is sensible, because if something goes wrong the consequences can be devastating.
An example of such an accident was when twenty two people were injured in an accident when a fairground ride collapsed in Skegness. One of the injured people suffered life threatening head injuries. It was said there were hundreds of on lookers when the ride suddenly plunged to the ground. The people on the ride then remained trapped until a rescue could be mounted by fire fighters.  
Accidents can also happen as you are queuing for a ride.  This was highlighted recently in the press by a recent incident involving a child  who fell at "Chessington World of Adventures". The young girl suffered a fractured skull and a bleed to the brain as well as broken ribs and trauma.   The ride was closed and the Health and Safety Executive carried out a full investigation.  It is not yet know if any action will be taken against the park.
I myself have dealt with various claims for client's involving fairground rides. The latest being when two brothers who loved fairground rides went with their mother to "Blackpool Pleasure Beach" .  Whilst on one of the fast rides,  the car suddenly came to a halt , leaving them suspended high in the air. A few seconds later the car was hit by  the one following them resulting in injuries.  Both have suffered physical and psychological trauma and can no longer face going on any rides and therefore their mutual enjoyment of fairgrounds is over.
So, what can you do to make sure when you go to a fairground or theme park you and your friends and family are safe? The Health and Safety Executive advise  that the best fairgrounds  and  theme parks are those organised  by members of  a recognised trade association such as the Showman's Guild of Great Britain or the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions .  Membership requires  all rides to be tested regularly and  for the operators to hold a current certificate. Ride operators will generally have a copy of their certificate to hand which you can ask to see.
Another things to look for are  the rides themselves.  Do they look solid, clean, well maintained ? If in doubt avoid it.  Watch the attendant's do they look like they know what they are doing? Are they checking restraints and making sure everyone is safe before the rides start?. If not, again perhaps avoid the ride. Take a note of safety warnings, fences and exclusions zones,  they are there for a reason. Don't try and beat the height restrictions. The seats are designed to hold people of a certain size, if your child is too small do you really want to risk their safety? 
Keep your children close do not let them wander.  An example of how dangerous a fairground can be was when a two year old boy in North London attended a fairground at "Ducketts Common "  in Turnpike  Lane in London. The  toddler climbed onto  the  tracks of a Go-Gator ride whilst it was moving, a member of the public alerted the operator who stopped the ride straight away but the toddler died.
The Health and Safety Executive have advised that the likelihood of you suffering an accident on a fairground ride is 1 in 2,326.000. So the odds are pretty good that you will be safe, but there is no harm in just taking that extra care. 

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