It is an excellent experience for young and old families to go to theme parks and fairgrounds. The rides there are designed to be exhilarating and a whole of fun. Many people fondly remember being taken to these places when they were younger.

Health and safety on fairground rides are essential. The last thing anyone wants when they go to a theme park or a travelling fairground in their local town is to get injured or lose their life just by going on one of the many fun rides. Sadly though, that is what is still happening. As well as costing these businesses money by driving customers away, it is leaving those customers feeling more nervous about using the rides.

Why New Regulations and Inspections of Fairground Rides and Theme Parks Are Crucial

When members of the public are involved, along with workers, health and safety can’t be afforded to skip. That is why the HSE has taken action to make changes.

If you are concerned about your own business or want to know the measures being taken to ensure your safety if you are a regular of fairgrounds and theme parks, you will find out all you need to know in the following post from the team here at Number 8 Events.

A spate of recent incidents involving certain rides at theme parks and fairgrounds has led to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deciding to carry out additional inspections of a wide variety of rides thanks to incidents in Barnsley, Hull, Cardiff, Barrow, and London. This inspection campaign has been devised to encourage and promote the safe use of many popular rides.

What Kind of Rides are being Targeted Under the New Inspection Rules?

The specific type of rides being targeted by these new inspection rules is Star Flyers, high-speed lifts, Twists, Crazy Frogs, and Round Ups that are used by travelling theme park and fairground sites. These rules will be thoroughly inspected to ensure they are safe for passengers, workers, and ride operators to use and correctly operate and maintain.

Incidents Involving Cerain Theme Park and Fairground Rides Have Led to Disaster

The increase in inspections of these rides is due to the alarming number of incidents involving these types of rides at theme parks and fairgrounds. Many are already under investigation by the HSE.

There are currently several incidents still being investigated by the HSE. Two involve Twist Rides at Barrow’s Cavendish Park and Winter Wonderland in Cardiff in August 2021 and November 2022, respectively.

There have also been investigations into incidents involving high-speed rides in October 2019, West Drayton’s Yiewsley Wood in April 2018, Brockwell Park in London and Barnsley’s Penny Pie Park that both happened in August 2019.

Then there is an incident that the HSE is aware of that occurred on a Star Flyer ride in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, at Planet Fun in July 2021, as well as another intervention led by the organisation involving a Crazy Frog ride’s control system used for restraining passengers needing improvements because it was inadequate.

What Can Happen?

Suppose the HSE inspectors working on behalf of the National Fairground Inspection Team, or NFIT, identify ongoing risks of serious injuries. In that case, encouragement action must be taken by the Enforcement Management Model outlined by the HSE.

Various enforcement options are open to the HSE, such as providing relevant information regarding their findings in writing or face-to-face, serving Prohibition and Improvement notices and, in the worst-case scenario, prosecution. The main goal of the work the inspectors will be carrying out is to help identify potential risks and educate owners and operators of the rides on why these are dangerous.

There will be 100 inspections conducted of rides up and down the country.

According to an HSE inspector, an incorrect operation or failure of a ride can cause dangerous consequences. The organisation recognises that because of recent incidents involving problems, including the ride operators that were prosecuted after a fatal incident involving inflatable devices occurred in March 2016, the public is better aware of potential dangers and injuries when devices and machinery are not set up, operated or even maintained properly in-line with good practice standards and the manufacturer guidelines. Therefore, the aim is to tackle these issues head-on and reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring in the future.

When Do the New Inspections Start?

From 24 April, the HSE will start carrying out 100 specifically targeted inspections of fairground rides and the programme is scheduled to be completed by September. This inspection programme follows the organisation’s continued efforts to further the intervention work it had undertaken during previous years, addressing safety issues within the fairground and theme park industry.

Rather than looking to close or put fairgrounds and theme parks out of business, it aims to help them. Fairgrounds and theme parks must understand the new regulations and inspections and endeavour to make the adjustments and improvements necessary to ensure rides are safe.


So, whether you run a fairground or theme park, if you have any rides noted in the above article, you should be aware that you will be expected to undergo further inspections to ensure your rides are safe. The best thing to do is to work with the authorities rather than try to make a fuss about it. The benefits are great. It is an important job that needs to be done.

In addition to ensuring your rides are safe and you are likely to avoid potentially life-threatening accidents and incidents from happening, the confidence the public will have in your fairground or theme park will increase exponentially. After all, they will be able to see that you take their health and safety seriously and will be more likely to come to your attractions and have a go on your rides. It will also help you avoid fines, closure, legal action, and any other negative consequences.