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HSE'S FAIRGROUND SAFETY GUIDANCE IS LAUNCHED

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A new guidance document for fairgrounds and amusement parks has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (H...
A new guidance document for fairgrounds and amusement parks has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE. The guidance, prepared by the Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks' Joint Advisory Committee (JAC), updates and expands on existing guidelines and gives advice on how to comply with recent risk-based health and safety legislation. One of the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC's) key objectives is to revise guidance so that employees and others can readily understand what they must do.

Stuart North, head of HSE's food and entertainment sector, said: 'The JAC represents the amusement trade industry associations and works continuously to improve safety practice in the industry.

'The new guidance places increased emphasis on the management of health and safety and assessment of risk and records all the steps and checks which the industry has agreed their members will undertake, to ensure the safety of fairground attractions. The revision has also given the opportunity to reconsider technical ideas contained in the guidance and to include a fuller discussion of passenger containment issues.'

The central theme of the guidance is about establishing initial integrity of a fairground attraction and then keeping it in good working order by regular maintenance and thorough examination.

Buying and selling a fairground device is specifically covered by section six of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The guidance amplifies the legal requirements and explains a system of steps and checks which can ensure safety throughout the lifetime of an attraction.

Anthony Harris, spokesman and past-president of the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain said: 'I welcome the new guidance because it attempts to speak to all sections of the industry from the individual showman, to the manager of a major theme park on a subject which is in everyone's mind, safety of the public'.

Richard Pawley, chairman of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions Limited, said: 'I am pleased to be part of the launch of this new document which will go a long way to improve the already impressive safety record of our industry.' Ken Rundle, chairman of the National Association for Leisure industry Certification, commented that the detailed sections within the guidance would prove useful - particularly a section on how ride examiners operate.

The guidance details four types of inspection appropriate for fairground attractions - design review; assessment of conformity to design; initial test and thorough examination. The role of inspection bodies is also covered along with detail of the industry's own accreditation scheme for the registration of inspection bodies. Other sections of the guidance explain what ride examiners, controllers, operators, attenders and fair organisers can do to play their own part in health and safety.

Copies of 'Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks: Guidance on Safe Practice' HS(G) 175 price£12.00, ISBN 0-7176 1174-4 and free copies of Entertainment Sheet No5 'Fairground and Amusement Parks' which gives a precis of the guide, are available from HSE

Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS, tel: 01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995.

NOTES

1. The guidance is being issued in loose leaf form with file separators to aid reference. Further documents to be produced by the industry are planned to follow in the near future on electrical equipment and ride design. It is hoped that smaller companies or individuals may be able to file important inspection data reports with the guidance for easy reference.

PUBLIC ENQUIRIES: Call HSE's Infoline, tel: 0541 545500, or write to: HSE Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ.

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