Moffat & Co Solicitors

Moffat & Co Solicitors
Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors Scotland
PO Box 28287
0131 662 6988
0131 667 8175

MASS Motor Accident Solicitors Society

Moffat & Co Solicitors Over 25 years of experience at your service

How dangerous are fairground rides for children?

An accident in Newtown in Wales has highlighted the dangers of fairground rides for parents across the United Kingdom. In what may well be the first fairground-related accident of 2011, two teenage girls and a boy required medical attention after a barrier came loose from a ride. The girls involved displayed the symptoms of whiplash, including head and back pain and blurred vision, whilst the boy was admitted to a hospital to assess his injuries.

While fairgrounds and their rides is a regular draw for youngsters and families during the summer months, many visitors are unaware of their rights in the event that something does go wrong. According to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive, the number of accidents involving fairgrounds and members of the public has steadily decreased. In the 12 months between 2001 and 2002, there were 428 recorded accidents on fairground rides, whilst from 2008 to 2009, the figures had dropped to 147. Whilst this is encouraging, 25 prohibition and 20 improvement notices were served to fairground operators during this time, and the National Fairground Inspection Team is recommending further changes to existing legislation, designed to improve the standards of training and maintenance of these rides.

Fairground accidents – the numbers

Recorded accidents range from minor injuries to serious incidents and even deaths. In 2007, four people were treated for head and abdominal injuries and one woman suffered serious spinal injuries, after a ‘ground-level spinning machine’ left its track at a fair in Suffolk. In 2009, a 15 year-old boy sustained life-threatening injuries after falling from a ride in Knebworth and, in the same year, a two-year-old boy was killed after wandering onto the tracks of the Go-Gator ride n North London.

In each case, the HSE will have worked with police investigators to determine whether the owner of the rides has ensured that his machines are compliant with the regulations laid down by the government. In the event that they are found to be non-compliant or that the Code of Safe Practice has not been adhered to, the owner of the rides is then responsible for the injuries sustained by employees and members of the public.

If positions at the fair are sub-let to ride owners, the owner of the fair may also find himself in a position of liability, given that he is allowing sub-standard machinery to operate as part of his attraction. Cases can also be levied at controllers, contractors, operators and even inspection bodies. The HSE’s job in a situation of this sort is to ascertain just where the responsibility lies. Of course, in some instances, there will be no blame to apportion. Accidents can and do happen that are genuinely nobody’s fault.

What should you do?

For anyone who believes they have been the victim of negligence at a fairground, the first thing to do is have the extent of any injuries sustained assessed by a medical professional. If you are in a position to take photographs of the ride or get witness details, then do. The next step is to get in touch with a solicitor who has some experience in this field. Their expertise and experience may be able to help you gain recompense for an accident in which you were nothing but the victim.

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Since contacting Stan I was continously informed of the development and progress of each step of my claim. Stan was persistent and patient throughout the whole process and reassured me he would win me the compensation I deserved - and he was true to his word. I am extremely happy with the outcome of my claim and this is all thanks to Stan.


My case was dealt with personally by Stan Moffat and what a brilliant guy. His office contacted me personally by telephone at the start of my claim to explain who they were and what they would be doing for me. All through the case I was kept fully informed of all actions either by e-mail or by letter and reassured by Stan several times of any queries I had.

It is very seldom that a solicitor will take the time to speak personally at any time with you without getting run through secretaries etc. I commend this man for that as this was a very upsetting and important time for me and he did everything in his power to make this as easy and as swift as possible for me.

I highly recommend the service that this firm brings and the speed that they move at.

J McMahon

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