Life changing injuries lead to huge fines being issued against theme park for health and safety failings

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The importance with which health and safety management should be held by organisations and venues that invite members of the public on to their premises has again been highlighted after Chessington World of Adventures was fined £150,000.  Unfortunately, due to what in hindsight seem obvious and dangerous mistakes, the theme park exposed visitors to the risk of serious injury in what would otherwise seem a safe and secure place.

The theme park was fined for safety breaches due to the injuries sustained by a four-year-old girl who suffered head injuries of a life changing nature when she fell 14ft whilst waiting for a ride.  It is clear that if this girls family choose to make a claim for injury compensation (which they will surely have done), the level of compensation settlement that she will receive will be substantial and rightly so.  It has been reported that the injured girl requires ongoing therapy, care and assistance and the costs for this will fall at the feet of the insurers who cover the theme park in question.

One of the common weapons used by those who oppose the personal injury claims process and access to no win no fee legal representation is the myth that we live in a world where ‘health and safety’ has gone mad and taken the joy out of life.  Sadly, with many of the injury compensation claims stories that we hear, breaches of health and safety, sometimes due to neglect and sometimes down to a refusal to take safety in to account, are the cause for the injuries sustained.

In this case, the young girl fell heavily and suffered a bleed on the brain, fractured skull and other injuries after falling from a raised queue whilst lining up for the Tomb Blaster ride.  The accident happened in 2012.

News reports today note that Guildford Crown Court heard that the accident could have been avoided if better health and safety management was in place.  Simple changes to the way risks were approached or identified would have prevented this accident happening.

The cause of the accident was because of damage to the wooden fencing that lined the queue line and this had been caused by rainwater dripping from a roof on to the wooden structure of the fence which had rotted the fence posts.

During investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that Chessington World of Adventures had repeatedly had to fix parts of the fence, but that a failure to keep records of this had meant that they had failed to address the potential for serious accidents.  The theme park pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches for failing to properly inspect and maintain the fence lining the queue.

This incident highlights how serious accidents can be avoided easily.  Chessington World of Adventures is a huge operation and in hindsight, they would have simply replaced the wooden fence with a metal fence construction.  It shows how easily health and safety risks can be missed and how if we allow the notion that ‘health and safety is a bad thing’ to continue, more accidents will happen.

If you have been injured in an accident and believe that the cause was due to the negligence of others or a failure to place a high importance on health and safety management you may well have a viable claim for injury compensation.  Claims can be made on a no win no fee basis and will costs you nothing if you fail to win.  Contact us today and discuss your injuries and accident with us.  We know your rights and can help you succeed with a claim for injury compensation.


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