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DUP MP calls for action over 489 accidents at funfairs and theme parks

By Emma Clarke

Published 02/08/2016

Concerned: Jim Shannon
Concerned: Jim Shannon

Almost 500 people reported injuries at amusement parks and funfairs in the UK last year, according to new figures.

In 2014/2015, 489 people were hurt, with around 120 of the cases meeting the criteria for an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

That was a rise of 100 reports compared to 2013-2014 and 10 more than in 2012-2013.

The number of reported injuries among workers fell from 64 in 2012-2013 to 56 in 2013-2014 and 51 in 2014-2015.

The official data was released to the DUP's Jim Shannon, who raised concerns after a number of high-profile incidents, including a crash at Alton Towers that left two people needing leg amputations, and a ride derailment at M&D's in Scotland in which nine people were injured.

The Strangford MP, who asked for the figures in a parliamentary question, said the Government should look at its legislation in the area to examine if regulations were tough enough.

"There have been some fairly horrific accidents this last period of time, and I'm keen to get an idea of what Government is doing about it," he added.

"The figures show that it's not just an occasional thing - it seems to be a more common occurrence.

"When you see there are hundreds of reports of injuries to workers and the public at funfairs and amusement parks in 2012-2013, a dramatic fall the next year and then a rise in 2014-2015 back to where it was, that indicates there is still a problem to be addressed."

Work and Pensions Minister Penny Mordaunt said the HSE's National Fairground Inspection Team was proactively targeting fairgrounds with known problems this year.

She added: "They (inspectors) have a range of options available to hold poor performers to account, including enforcement notices and prosecution for the most serious breaches of the law.

"Any lessons learned from these investigations are communicated to the industry."

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