Funfair worker struck by Vertigo ride

The Vertigo ride

The Vertigo ride

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A fairground operator has had to introduce new safety measures after a worker was injured by a ride at the TT fun fair.

The island’s Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate launched an investigation after a fairground worker was struck in the head by part of the towering Vertigo ride as it was slowing down to off-load thrillseekers.

Police were called to the scene on Friday evening. The worker, who is from Liverpool, was not badly hurt but was taken to Noble’s Hospital as a precaution.

Health and safety officials were notified on Saturday morning and launched an investigation.

Bernard Warden, head of the inspectorate, said: ‘One worker was struck by part of the ride and taken to hospital.

‘We asked for the operator to introduce a number of controls to prevent it happening again.

‘They have taken some measures immediately that were easy to introduce. This was good collaborative working between ourselves and the police.’

Funfair owner Jan de-Koning said: ‘He was given a check-up at hospital as a precaution. He’s fine and back at work. As far as I’m aware the chap stepped into a restricted area. He was taking a short cut.’

In a separate incident on Saturday, passengers had to be evacuated off the Miami Trip ride when it broke down while it was 2-3m in the air.

Again, the health and safety officers investigated. After a component was replaced, the ride was deemed safe to use.

‘We would not give the go-ahead until we were absolutely sure the component was replaced,’ said Mr Warden.

Mr de-Koning said: ‘One drive unit on the ride broken down. The operator stopped the ride immediately. There was a controlled evacuation without power. It only took 5-10 minutes. We were very lucky in having a spare drive unit. This is the first time that’s ever happened with that ride.’

Mr Warden said no enforcement action would follow as a result of either incident. The operator had been very cooperative and responded swiftly to make any necessary changes, he said.

He said his officers visit the TT funfair before it is opened to the public and also carry out regular inspections.

Mr Warden said fairground operators have to have annual checks of their rides by an independent competent engineer in the UK - and the island’s Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate not only required them to send over a copy of the completed report but to go through the findings to ensure all required work has been carried out.

‘We assess the rides in terms of safety. Our systems are more stringent than that operating in the UK,’ he insisted.

The Health and Safety At Work Inspectorate has powers of enforcement ranging from verbal and written advices, to the issuing of improvement and prohibition notices, a formal caution and the final sanction being a recommendation to the Attorney General for a prosecution.

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