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  3. Ride operator hit with fines following injuries

A fairground ride at Andover Carnival in Hampshire became the subject of an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive in July 2014, following an incident involving two members of the public.

The operator of the fairground ride was fined last month following a hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court. The court heard that John Searle had been in charge of the ride, Music Trip, when the incident occurred. As the ride got underway, the safety bar came loose and rose into the air, causing two members of the public to slip from the ride and fall to the ground from a height of two metres. They both sustained bruising and cuts.

The investigation conducted by HSE discovered that the lap bar had not been completely effective. The operator had failed to adjust the bar, meaning that the ride could be operated with the bar partly open. The padding of the lap bar was found to be loose and worn, indicating poor maintenance, while a seat pommel was also missing.


Searle, who lives in Hampshire, entered a guilty plea to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 3(2). He was fined £865, along with costs of £1,808.

Karen Morris, an inspector of HSE, stated that ride operators should heed the warning that it is not acceptable for people to be placed in danger at a fairground, although there is an overall perception of danger.


Health and Safety laws apply to workers and members of the public, and involve the use of PPE and specialist workwear to maintain safety at all times.

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