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Workplan 2016-17: National Fairground Inspection Team (NFIT) Intervention Programme


This document outlines the 2016-17 National Fairgrounds Intervention Team (NFIT) intervention programme. The priority objective is to ensure that ride controllers have taken action to address issues already identified by HSE in safety alerts following investigations, incidents and receipt of intelligence. FOD PDEG have also indicated that time is allocated in the FOD Business plan to deal with general fairground safety matters.


Failure of a large fairground ride has the potential to create a catastrophic incident with multiple serious and potentially fatal injuries to riders and others. Those affected are likely to be mainly children and young people at leisure and any such incident is likely to attract significant political, public and media attention.

HSE’s overall strategy goal is to ensure that fairground rides are safe when in use and in doing so reduce the risk of such catastrophic incidents to as low as is reasonably practicable.

HSE adopts a dual approach to achieve this goal. Entertainment & Leisure Sector works with and influences key national stakeholders individually and collectively through the Amusement Devices Safety Council, to maintain and where necessary improve the industry run regulatory regime and safety standards within the sector. The National Fairgrounds Inspection Team (NFIT) seeks to ensure compliance through interventions with individual duty holders.

The 2016/17 NFIT Work Plan is focused on;

  1. Ensuring that essential upgrades and modifications identified by previous HSE interventions have been carried out on specific rides and that operators are complying with revised operating procedures – See list below.
  2. Ensuring that fairgrounds are safe for employees and the general public during build up and when operating.

Action required

Tagada and Kolmax Miami Trip rides

The first and overriding priority for NFIT Inspectors in 2016/17 is to inspect the Tagada and Kolmax Miami Trip rides See below about Sector assistance with targeting.

The rides should be inspected by NFIT Inspectors to check that remedial action has been taken; (the specific information contained in Appendix 1 provides further information regarding the remedial action which should have been completed on individual rides) and that any revised operating procedures are being observed.

The 2017/18 workplan will similarly target known issues on the Safeco Crazy Frog and Superstar type machines. If these rides are encountered during this year’s inspections enquiries should be made to determine whether identified remedial action has been carried out. Sector can provide further detail and assistance where required.

General Inspection

Further time has been allocated by FOD for general inspection of fairgrounds to ensure H&S standards are being maintained during build up and operation of fairs. The priority for inspection should be larger fairs where greater numbers of higher risk machines will be assembled. If possible specialist inspectors, particularly electrical specialists should accompany NFIT members.

Decisions concerning which fair to visit and when should be based upon local knowledge. See Appendix 3 for a list of suggested fairs and dates.

Other fairs can be found at or through sector on request.

Sector can provide details of other priority work that can be carried out on fairground equipment if sufficient resource is available.

Matters of evident concern

Matters of evident concern identified at interventions should be dealt with in accordance with FOD procedures. Examples of matters of concern frequently found on fairgrounds are at Appendix 2.


HSE has, during investigations and other interventions, identified issues of concern involving the construction, maintenance, inspection and use of certain types of fairground rides, which if not addressed, may result in accidents causing injury to employees and members of the public. Some inspection work has already been done to check that technical modifications and/or changes to operational procedures have been made on individual rides, but further work is required to ensure that the remedial work has been done on all the affected rides.


FOD PDEG have agreed this work and allocated time at the rate of 2 proactive days per machine in the FOD Work Plan for 2016/17.

FOD PDEG have also allocated a further 50 proactive days for general fairground safety inspection in the FOD Work Plan for 2016/17, some of which may be accounted for dealing with matters of evident concern – see above and below. Sector can provide details of other priority work that can be carried out.


Visits to the specific machines may be conducted by a NFIT Inspector based on their local knowledge:

Incidents on fairground equipment happen due to the way they are operated as much as for technical reasons. The risks associated with their use are only apparent when the ride is in use; unannounced visits to fairs in operation may therefore be more effective.

To assist with targeting, Sector will provide details of the owners of the targeted machines and their winter quarters addresses. Sector can identify fairs at which these rides may be present but the peripatetic nature of the industry means their presence cannot be guaranteed. NFIT inspectors should liaise early with Sector once their inspection dates are known for more specific targeting information.

This work should be undertaken by NFIT trained Inspectors and, when required, by Specialist Inspectors with NFIT experience.

Recording & Reporting

Sector will produce and distribute a proforma report for each of the machines containing details of the intervention which should be returned to the address shown on it for central collation when the inspection is complete.

COIN Recording requirements are as per FOD guidelines. NFIT work is no longer recorded under NFIT FMU 25, however, Inspectors are asked to check that the correct SIC code of 93210 has been recorded in COIN.

Further references


Entertainments and Leisure Sector

Melvin Sandell 01298 218068  (VPN 524)
Sal Brecken 0191 202 6242  (VPN: 519) 

Appendix 1: Specific Machines

Fairground rides requiring essential modification or upgrade

Based on recent incident history, the sector has selected the Kolmax Miami Trip and Tagada machines, for closer scrutiny over 2016/17. 

The purpose of focussing on these machines at visits is to confirm that the controller has taken all necessary actions in accordance with the SANs, letters or previous HSE guidance/enforcement and if not, to take appropriate action to ensure that the remedial work is carried out or working practices altered.  Sector will provide details of fairs and the locations of the rides in scope and will liaise with individual NFIT teams as required closer to the fair dates.

  1.   Kolmax Miami Trip

The Kolmax Bench L-20 is a Miami-type ride manufactured in the Czech Republic.  It has been involved in three serious accidents involving passenger ejections.  The first investigation found numerous areas requiring remedial work.  The second accident appeared similar to the first and the third is still under investigation.  Investigation into the second accident showed that the remedial works required after the first accident had not been completed.

Inspectors should check that the remedial works notified to ride controllers have now been completed and that they are operating the machines in accordance with both the manufacturer’s instructions and HSE guidance.  These machines have evolved over their manufacturing history and some or all of the work required may have been completed or manufactured in on later versions.

See ‘further references’ section for the safety alert and letter to the Showmen’s Guild.
Inspectors will also need to check that the details of the remedial action requirements issued at the end of 2015 have been completed by ride controllers.

If the necessary work has not been done, Sector will support such action as necessary to ensure the public are not exposed to risks from these machines.  Further information will follow.

  1.  Tagada

There have been numerous incidents at Tagada rides in recent years and these are still occurring. Some are related to rider conduct, some to poor operating practices and some to a combination of both. Injuries have occurred when passengers are dislodged from their seats and, in some cases, ejected from the machine.

A HSL Study Report identified that the ride can produce ejection forces. Controllers received a letter, requiring them to have the rides checked by a competent examiner and to take steps to eliminate these forces or provide full, interlocked containment systems. The letter also gave controllers updated advice on safe operation, including not bouncing the machine when it is moving slowly or stationary. A further letter has been sent to inspection bodies with details of what is required to ensure the machines can run safely. Both letters can be found at ‘Further Reading’ above.

HSL suggested containment, reduced rotational speed and/or reduced ram speed as solutions to the ejection risk. Which of these options they choose, is up to the machine controller. They should be able to provide evidence from a competent inspection body that the machine has been modified as necessary and retested to ensure that it cannot now produce an ejection force at any speed.

Appendix 2: Matters of Evident Concern

Matters of evident concern likely to be found include:

Once identified, Inspectors should take appropriate action to resolve issues as necessary with support from Sector if required.

Appendix 3: List of major fairs

Updated 2018-08-15