This outlines the 2014-15 National Fairgrounds Intervention Team (NFIT) intervention programme. It focuses on:
The 2014-15 NFIT programme aims to reverse the currently increasing trend of accidents on fairgrounds. It will contribute to the Leisure Sector Strategy objective ‘avoiding catastrophe’.
Larger fairground rides are capable of giving rise to catastrophic incidents affecting large numbers of people. These are ‘low frequency but high consequence risks’ and those affected are likely to be mainly children and young people at leisure. Any such incident is likely to attract public and media attention.
Intelligence from previous NFIT inspections and investigations suggests:
Concerns have also been raised about controllers failing to address issues identified during previous investigations and brought to their attention in HSE Safety Notices.
Sector has published NFIT specific FFI guidance designed to help NFIT inspectors looking at situations that may not sit easily within the general FOD Guidelines. Sector will also continue to provide advice and support to NFIT inspectors on matters of evident concern and material breaches of the law.
At fairground visits during 2014–15, NFIT inspectors should concentrate on;
Between 2001–02 and 2009–10, fairground accident statistics showed a downward trend for both employees and members of the public. There was an increase in reported accidents to members of the public in 2010–11.
HSE statistics for 2011–12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 show further increases, although analysis suggests this may be partly due to changes in reporting arrangements.
Ride controllers may have their rides inspected by any competent person. They should be able to describe the steps taken to assure themselves of the competence of their ride inspector. HSE has extensive, in-depth knowledge and experience of the industry run ADIPS scheme for pre-use and in service ride inspection. Because of this, HSE considers that registration with ADIPS is good evidence that a ride inspector is capable of working competently. However, NFIT Inspectors should be aware that ADIPS registered inspectors have, on occasion been prosecuted following incidents due to a lack of diligence in their inspections.
Visits to the specific machines mentioned previously may be conducted:
Visits to small fairs may be conducted:
Visits should be targeted on the basis of local or national intelligence which may include:
The four machine types identified for closer scrutiny are likely to be found in greater numbers on medium and major fairs. Visiting these will permit a more economic use of resource. For example, in 2011 target machines could be found as follows:
This work should be undertaken by NFIT trained Inspectors and, when required, by Specialist Inspectors with NFIT experience. FOD has allocated resource for the proactive NFIT work.
Divisional Intelligence Officers will be given details of fairs to be visited before the start of the work year in order that Service Orders can be raised.
COIN Recording requirements are as per FOD guidelines. Inspectors are reminded that NFIT work should be recorded under NFIT FMU 25.
Entertainments and Leisure Sector
Based on recent incident history, the sector has selected the Crazy Frog, Tagada, Kolmax Bench L-20 and Superstar type machines, for closer scrutiny over 2014-15.
The Crazy Frog type machine, Tagada and Kolmax Bench L-20 (Miami Trip type ride) have been subject to Safety Action Notices (SANs) requiring controllers to conduct certain examinations, make physical alterations to the machine and/or change operational use. Certain types of the Safeco Crazy Frog machine are the subject of a recent HSL Study. The Superstar was the subject of a major investigation/ intervention in 2002–2004.
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, if required, 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.
This has been involved in number of serious incidents since first imported into UK some 20 years ago. The majority involved:
The machines in scope are a version made by a Spanish company called ‘Safeco’. An HSL Report of a S&T study into these matters has recently been published, it can be found at ‘Further References’ above. Controllers will be required to make physical changes to their machines in the winter of 2013–14 to improve physical reliability and to alter their operational procedures as follows;
Controllers should use the NDT Schedule provided in the HSL Report or have evidence that they have employed an equally effective system to check for fatigue. The latter option must be agreed with their ride inspector. Sector should be informed if this situation is found
NFIT Inspectors should take enforcement action as necessary to ensure the machine is run safely. Sector will provide advice and support for action if necessary.
There have been a number of incidents at Tagada rides in recent years, some related to rider conduct but many to poor operating practices resulting in passengers being injured when dislodged from their seats and, in some cases, ejected from the machine.
A 2011/12 HSL Study Report identified that the ride can produce ejection forces. HSE wrote to Controllers 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 which included not bouncing the machine when moving slowly or stationary. A further letter sent to inspection bodies contained details of work required to ensure the machines can run safely.
HSL have suggested containment, reduced rotational speed or reduced ram speed as solutions. Which (if any) of these options is used, 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.
See ‘further references’ section for the HSL report and letters.
If the necessary work has not been done then Sector will support such action as necessary to ensure the public are not exposed to risks from these machines.
The Kolmax Bench L-20 is a Miami type ride manufactured in the Czech Republic. It has been involved in two serious accidents involving passenger ejections. The first investigation found numerous areas requiring remedial work.
The second accident appeared similar to the first. Investigation 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. It should be noted that these machines have evolved over their manufacturing history and some or all of the work required may have been completed on later versions.
See ‘further references’ section for the safety alert and letter to the Showmen’s Guild.
The Superstar class of machine has suffered catastrophic weld failures at positions shown in the diagram below. Investigation into the causes was extensive and resulted in all of these machines requiring remedial work and/or changes to their operation. Enforcement Notices were issued during the investigation and the final PN required alterations to the operating procedures and a comprehensive, in depth NDT regime. This last Notice was unsuccessfully appealed and the regime outlined in the Schedule should still be in force unless equally effective measures have been put in place.
Enquiries following an accident involving a Superstar machine in Northern Ireland in January 2013 showed that many of the machines running in the UK are no longer complying with the regime in the Schedule or have put in place equally effective measures.
See ‘further references’ section for copy of the Schedule to the Notice and letter sent to all current ride controllers and inspection bodies reminding them of the standards required.
Inspectors should check that these machines are being operated and tested either in accordance with the Schedule or to an equivalent standard.
Matters of evident concern likely to be found include:
Once Inspectors have identified issues they should take appropriate action to resolve them, with support from Sector if required.