Ockendon Fairground Owner Fined After Pair Thrown From Ride

THE SOUTH OCKENDON owner of a faulty fairground ride has been fined following an incident during the British Grand Prix weekend.

The court heard that two people were thrown from the ‘Tagada’ fairground ride at Silverstone, in Buckinghamshire, on the day of the 2008 British Grand Prix, when the seating collapsed.

Michael Searle, from South Ockendon, who owned the ride, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  He was fined £3,000 and was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs at Aylesbury Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 30 September 2010).

The Tagada was a ground-level spinning machine that bounces its riders as it turns. The court heard that on 6 July 2008 two members of the public were thrown off as it spun at speed. Both suffered back injuries and bruising but have since recovered.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the ride failed due to corroded structural steel work on the seating. The corrosion was significant and clear to see, and should have been identified by the ride owner, Mr Searle, and during an inspection visit by Mr Rodgers.

HSE Inspector, Karl Howes, said:

“Fairground rides should be exciting but safe. Everyone on this ride faced a real risk, because the owner and inspector failed to comply with the law.

“The two injured men were fortunate because they could easily have suffered more serious injuries.”

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