Fairground Safety

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 19th December 2002.

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Photo of Ms Candy Atherton Ms Candy Atherton Labour, Falmouth and Camborne

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) how many fatal accidents there have been at fairgrounds in each of the last 10 years;

(2) what changes in the regulation of fairground safety there have been since 2000;

(3) what plans he has for reforms of fairground safety.

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

The table sets out the numbers of fatal accidents over the last 10 years:

Number of fatal accidents
1990–91 3
1991–92 (36)1
1992–93 0
1993–94 (36)1
1994–95 4
1995–96 0
1996–97 (36)1
1997–98 (36)1
1998–99 0
1999–2000 (36)1
2000–01 5
2001–02 (36)2

(36) Indicates a fatal accident to an employee.

Following a number of fatal accidents at fairground rides in 2000 the Health and Safety Commission (HSC)/Executive (HSE) carried out a fundamental review of fairground safety, in consultation with the fairground industry.

The Review considered that the current regulatory regime is fit for purpose as a flexible framework for continuing to improve accident prevention. It is based on a sound framework of law and industry-specific guidance, receives high level of support from the leaders of industry, and has been shown to be enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive. If it is complied with fully, competently and diligently the risks of death and injury will be minimised.

However, the Review also recognised that reforms could be made to improve standards of safety in the fairground industry and made a number of recommendations to strengthen the existing regime including that inspectors should specialise more in relation to this industry. HSE has now established a National Fairground Inspection Team to improve consistency of approach and to use to the maximum the expertise and experience of the HSE Inspectors working in this area.

There are therefore are no immediate plans for further reforms of fairground safety. The Health and Safety Executive has acted upon recommendations contained in the fundamental review of fairground safety that reported to the Health and Safety Commission in September 2001. Additional legislative controls remain an option should there be deterioration in compliance with the existing regime or in accidents.

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