Maintenance accident could have been avoided, says HSE Inspector

The owners of the Pleasureland amusement park in Southport have been fined £95,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after pleading guilty to charges of breaching the Health and Safety Act which resulted in the death of an employee.

On August 25, 2004, William John Birchall was performing maintenance on a chairlift style cable ride, and became entangled in the moving machinery. He was unable to reach his radio and notify a colleague at the controls of the machine 200 metres away that the ride needed to be stopped.

HSE Inspector Charles Cottle said: “This was a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided had the correct procedures been in place. This case graphically illustrates that companies should ensure that safe working systems are in place for the safety of all their employees.”