As soon as you see a mistake and don't fix it, it becomes your mistake.
We regard health and safety as the most important aspect of our operations. Whilst in common with any industry, the funfair business has some very good operators, as well as some cowboys, we implement any changes in health and safety guidelines even before they become legal requirements.
When supplying attractions for an event, we supply a full brochure, containing not only a risk assessment and fire risk assessment for the event, but individual assessments for each item of equipment. At larger events where noise becomes an issue, we check volume levels on a regular basis using calibrated decibel meters. We have our own pool of fire fighting apparatus to complement the extinguishers that are carried by each individual operator that is working with us.
All of our catering operations comply with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) requirements, with each unit carrying a complete pack containing all of the inspection and health procedures that we adhere to.
Funfair rides, games and catering units currently fall under the ADIPS scheme, this stands for Amusement Devices Inspection Procedure Scheme. A company set up in conjunction with the Health and Safety executive to set and maintain safety standards on fairgrounds throughout the U.K. This scheme requires each attraction on a fairground to undergo a number of different annual safety inspections by qualified engineers. Currently, depending on the type of equipment, this can consist of any combination of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and non destructive testing procedures. This helps to maintain a high level of structural and electrical safety throughout the industry, and is one of the reason that the funfair industry in the UK is officially regarded as possibly the safest passenger carrying industry in the country.
However, we have identified what we believe is a weakness within the otherwise high standards of the ADIPS electrical requirements. There is currently no requirement to subject electrical power cables to any sort of inspection. As a result, and even though it is not required by any of the safety bodies overseeing our industry, we have committed to ensure that all of our cables, and other portable equipment undergoes a PAT test (portable appliance test) every 3 months. Furthermore if a client requests it we will test our cables and portable appliances before their event, even if it is within the 3 month standard we have set ourselves. Additionally starting 1st February 2009, we will also subject all of our electrical safety devices to 3 monthly safety inspections, four times the current industry standard which only specifies an annual check.
We do this to ensure that we not only meet all current safety regulations, but actively work to exceed them whenever and wherever it is possible to do so.
To give you an idea of the standards we have to meet, the following is typical of a new ride purchased for use on the fairground;
The construction plans for the ride must be thoroughly examined by a specialist engineer to assess the stresses and strains placed on the structure, and to assess the overall safety of the design.
Once the design review has been completed, an independent inspector must then test the ride, against the specifications of the design to ensure that the correct standard of material has been used, the correct type and grade of bolts etc.
If the ride has managed to pass so far, it is then subject to its initial safety test. Here the rides emergency stop system, electrical and mechanical safety and passenger constraints are tested to ensure they are safe. it is only after passing this stage that a ride is issued with a DOC document (declaration of conformity). Without this document the ride cannot be operated on a U.K. fairground.
Each ride will have its own daily inspection book. This contains a list of al the safety related items that must be checked each day to ensure the rides continued safety. The results of these daily checks are recorded in this book, along with any repairs that have been made.
Each ride must undergo an annual safety inspection by an independent engineer, much like the initial series of test the ride was subject to. Electrical and mechanical safety tests are performed, along with NDT tests (a form of examining steel for microscopic cracks) for certain components. If any of these tests are failed, the ride will not receive the required DOC and it will have to be repaired and made safe before it is re tested and allowed to operate.
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