Contractor failed to identify ‘foreseeable’ risk of entrapment on rollercoaster
Wednesday 31st May 2017
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Five-year-old New Zealander Lucy Hibbert was on holiday in the UK with her family when the accident happened on 5 June 2012 at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, North Yorkshire.
The Ladybird rollercoaster was returning to the station (the area where passengers board and exit the ride) when Lucy's right leg came out of the carriage and became trapped between it and the platform edge. Her leg remained caught as the ride advanced the full length of the platform.
Lucy sustained ligament, cartilage and nerve damage to her leg and foot.
The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) investigation found that David Geary had been contracted by Lightwater Valley to carry out a risk assessment on the Ladybird rollercoaster, however he had failed to adequately identify the possibility of entrapment between the carriage and the platform.
Lightwater Valley Attractions pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was fined £40,000 at York Crown Court on 25 May and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: "The company failed to ensure that members of the public were not exposed to such risks. The possibility of limbs being trapped in this way on the Ladybird ride was foreseeable and should have been dealt with properly by both parties.
"Following the start of the HSE investigation, an improvement notice was served on Lightwater Valley Attractions and it made a number of changes to the ride to reduce the risk of entrapment."
The girl's father, Paul Hibbert, said that his daughter has undergone two rounds of reconstructive surgery and "extensive" physiotherapy since the accident.
Lucy Hibbert, from New Zealand, boarded the Ladybird rollercoaster at 2.15pm on 5 June 2012 with her cousin and six other family members. The ride was designed to complete two circuits of a figure-of-eight-shaped track. During the first circuit Lucy’s right leg came out of the side of the car and became trapped between it and the platform edge when the train pulled into the station. Her leg was drawn along the 15 m platform as the rollercoaster passed through the station and embarked on the second circuit.
Jacek Adamowicz was a 29-year-old employee of Hitchen Foods, which is owned by the Bakkavor Group. He had been sweeping an aisle between two rows of waste plastic bales in the yard at 10.45am on 4 February 2015 when two bales collapsed. One of them, weighing 723 kg, fell 3 m and landed on him.
Jacek Adamowicz, 29, worked at Hitchen Foods, which is owned by Bakkavor Group. On 4 February 2015 he was sweeping the storage yard when a stack of plastic bales collapsed on top of him. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Bakkavor Foods had failed to plan how the bales should be safely stacked and stored, and had not provided formal training for employees who were responsible for carrying out the task.
The Old Bailey was told that Claxton Engineering Services, an engineering and service company that operates in the oil and gas industry, hired Encompass Project Management to construct a large pressure test facility (PTF) at its headquarters in Great Yarmouth for the high-pressure testing of pipes.Encompass contracted Hazegood Construction to complete the groundworks and build the steel reinforcing cage.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was told that on 7 January 2015 John Philbin had gained access to the Chapel Level residential development, for which Sandford Park was the principal contractor, through a gap in a hedge.Philbin, who had the onset of dementia, fell into the excavation, which had flooded with rainwater, and drowned. The site had been closed at the time due to bad weather. A ground worker found his body the next day.
The victim sustained a broken arm in the 14 December 2015 incident.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company had failed to effectively segregate its pedestrian workers from those who were driving FLTs. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told that Encirc had been served with an improvement notice in 2007 for the poor segregation of workplace transport in the yard and warehouse areas. In 2008 an employee was injured in another incident involving an FLT.