Extra Health & Safety checks are to be taken out on fairground rides this summer

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.

Fire Risk Assessments: Understanding Your Responsibilities in the Workplace

Fire risk assessments play a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and visitors in the workplace. These assessments are essential for identifying potential fire hazards, implementing preventive measures, and formulating emergency plans. Employers can mitigate risks and protect lives by conducting thorough and regular fire risk assessments. This blog will delve into the key aspects of fire risk assessments and explore your responsibilities as an employer or business owner.

The Importance of Fire Risk Assessments

Fire risk assessments serve as a fundamental tool in creating a safe working environment. They help identify potential fire hazards, evaluate the level of risk, and determine appropriate control measures. Assessments also assist in establishing emergency procedures and educating employees on fire safety. By prioritising fire risk assessments, businesses can reduce the likelihood of fire incidents and safeguard the well-being of their workforce.

Fires can cause devastating consequences in the workplace, including injuries, loss of life, property damage, and financial losses. By conducting thorough fire risk assessments, you can proactively identify potential hazards and implement effective measures to prevent fires or minimise their impact.

Fire risk assessments are not only about complying with legal requirements; they also demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your employees and visitors. By investing in fire risk assessments, you prioritize their well-being and create a culture of safety within your organisation.

Legal Obligations and Regulatory Framework

Understanding the legal requirements surrounding fire risk assessments is crucial. In the United Kingdom, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 outlines the responsibilities of employers, business owners, and responsible persons. According to the legislation, a fire risk assessment must be carried out in all non-domestic premises. Failure to comply with these obligations can result in penalties, legal action, and, most importantly, increased risks to life and property.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places the responsibility of fire safety on the "responsible person." This could be the employer, business owner, landlord, or any person with control over the premises. It is their duty to ensure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment is conducted and appropriate measures are in place to mitigate risks.

The responsible person must appoint competent individuals to carry out fire risk assessments or acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct the assessments themselves. Compliance with the legislation is not just a legal requirement; it is a moral obligation to protect the well-being of all individuals within the workplace.

Identifying Fire Hazards

The first step in conducting a fire risk assessment is to identify potential fire hazards within the workplace. This can include electrical equipment, flammable substances, faulty wiring, blocked escape routes, or inadequate fire protection systems. By conducting a thorough inspection of the premises, including both internal and external areas, you can identify and address any hazards that may contribute to the outbreak or spread of a fire.

During the assessment, you should consider all areas of your premises, from the entrance to the workspace, storage areas, restrooms, and break rooms. Look for potential ignition sources, combustible materials, and any obstructions that may hinder evacuation or firefighting efforts.

Common fire hazards include faulty electrical equipment, overloaded power sockets, improper storage of flammable substances, blocked fire exits, and inadequate fire suppression systems. By identifying these hazards, you can take appropriate measures to eliminate or control them effectively.

Evaluating and Controlling Risks

Once fire hazards have been identified, the next step is to assess and evaluate the associated risks. This involves considering factors such as the likelihood of a fire occurring and the potential consequences if one were to

happen. By assigning a risk rating to each hazard, you can prioritise control measures accordingly. These measures may include implementing fire safety training, installing fire detection and suppression systems, maintaining emergency exits, and ensuring adequate signage.

Risk assessment involves evaluating the probability of a fire occurring based on the identified hazards and the potential impact it may have on people, property, and business operations. By understanding the risks, you can allocate resources effectively to implement appropriate control measures.

Control measures can range from simple actions, such as ensuring fire extinguishers are readily available and accessible, to more complex solutions like installing fire alarm systems and automatic sprinklers. It is crucial to consider the effectiveness, practicality, and cost of each control measure to ensure they are suitable for your specific workplace.

Formulating Emergency Plans

Having a well-defined emergency plan is essential to effectively respond to a fire incident. This includes establishing evacuation procedures, identifying assembly points, and designating responsibilities to key personnel. Regular drills and exercises should be conducted to familiarise employees with the emergency plan and ensure a swift and coordinated response in case of a fire. It is vital to regularly review and update the emergency plan to account for changes in the workplace or staff.

Emergency plans should outline clear procedures to evacuate the premises safely and efficiently. They should include designated escape routes, assembly points, and instructions for employees with disabilities or special needs. Regular drills help validate the effectiveness of the emergency plan and familiarise employees with the actions they need to take in an emergency.

Consider appointing fire wardens or marshals who are trained to assist in the event of a fire. Their responsibilities may include guiding employees during evacuations, conducting headcounts, and ensuring that everyone has safely evacuated the premises.

Employee Training and Awareness

Ensuring that employees are adequately trained and aware of fire safety measures is a vital aspect of fire risk assessments. Training should cover topics such as fire prevention, evacuation procedures, proper use of firefighting equipment, and reporting of potential hazards. By promoting a culture of fire safety and encouraging employees to actively participate in maintaining a safe working environment, the risk of fire incidents can be significantly reduced.

Employee training is critical in fostering a fire-conscious culture within your organisation. Employees should be educated about the potential fire hazards in their work environment, how to identify them, and the appropriate actions to take in case of a fire.

Training sessions should cover topics such as fire extinguisher use, evacuation procedures, and the importance of reporting potential fire hazards promptly. Regular refresher courses and ongoing awareness campaigns will reinforce good fire safety practices among employees.

Engaging Professionals for Assistance

While conducting fire risk assessments can be carried out internally, engaging the services of fire safety professionals can provide invaluable expertise and ensure comprehensive evaluations. Fire safety consultants can offer guidance, perform detailed assessments, and provide recommendations tailored to the specific needs of your workplace. Their experience and knowledge can enhance the effectiveness of your fire risk assessment process and help you stay compliant with relevant regulations.

Fire safety professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in conducting fire risk assessments. They can identify potential hazards that may go unnoticed and provide expert advice on implementing control measures that comply with regulations and best practices.

Fire safety consultants can also assist in developing emergency plans, conducting fire safety training for employees, and performing periodic audits to ensure ongoing compliance. Their involvement can contribute to a more robust fire safety management system within your organisation.

Regular Review and Maintenance

Fire risk assessments should not be viewed as one-time tasks but rather as ongoing processes. Regular reviews are necessary to identify any changes in the workplace environment that may affect fire safety, such as new equipment, renovations, or staffing changes. Maintenance and testing of fire protection systems, including fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinklers, should also be conducted at regular intervals to ensure they remain fully functional and effective.

Workplaces are dynamic environments that undergo constant changes. As a responsible person, it is your duty to periodically review your fire risk assessments to account for any modifications that may impact fire safety. This includes changes in layout, new processes, or the introduction of hazardous materials.

Maintenance of fire protection systems is crucial to their effectiveness. Regular inspections, testing, and servicing of fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinklers, and other safety equipment should be carried out by competent individuals to ensure they are in proper working order.


Fire risk assessments are indispensable for safeguarding lives and protecting property in the workplace. By understanding your responsibilities as an employer or business owner, you can prioritise fire safety, identify potential hazards, and implement appropriate control measures. Regular assessments, employee training, and engagement with fire safety professionals are key elements in maintaining a safe working environment. By adhering to legal obligations, being proactive, and prioritising fire risk assessments, you can create a secure workplace for all.

Health and Safety Essentials: Making Events Safe for Everyone

The beauty of events is that they change, moving with the times and developing through the years. If your event is to be a resounding success, you must also ensure how you manage safety changes by striving for continual improvement.

Safety should be addressed at the senior management level, starting at the design/concept stages of your event and should be routinely considered throughout. It is not a standalone topic, and several factors will have a ripple effect, so the larger the project, the more care, thought, and expertise is required.

Whether it is ensuring that you have issued scopes of works to your contractors prior to quotation or ensuring that you have evidence of their competence prior to issuing a contract, there are key touch points throughout the event planning phases which should be ticked off.

Running a successful event involves teamwork, and your safety advisor should be regarded as a key project team member – making the most of their knowledge and expertise from the outset.

In order to help you achieve this, you could try the following:

  • Have a centralised risk register that all of the management team can contribute to so that all of the reasonably foreseeable significant hazards are identified across the team, as everyone has different experiences and knowledge to draw on
  • Once you have agreed on the risk register and written the first draft of your risk assessment, make sure that you identify who is responsible for the control measures and the timeframes in which they are to be completed
  • Use this event risk assessment as part of the checklist for running the event – creating standalone checklists if needed, ensuring that the risk assessment does not become an inactive document
  • Review event risk assessments throughout the event life cycle to ensure that what has been specified is being implemented, or otherwise, the risk assessment is updated accordingly

Finally, you should commit time and energy to monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of your control measures and reviewing this post-event at the senior level so that your approach can be varied for the next event. This influences the corporate memory and is key to ensuring colleagues learn from your successes and failures – and vice versa.

Over time, the cumulative effect of these small improvements will have a positive and meaningful effect on the success of your events.