The risks of attractions…

High profile accidents across the world arising from malfunctions, collapsed equipment, or inadequate rigour of process, still regularly demonstrate the health and safety issues that can arise in the Leisure and Entertainment sector.  It’s one thing in the UK, that the application of the [new] Sentencing Guidelines to convictions for health and safety offences will significantly increase financial impact, but quite another thing that the less “less obvious” consequences will likely do the significant damage to an attraction’s viability. These are the risks of attractions.

The human factor is a risk factor

The the knock-on impact to reputation that a even a less serious accident can have, let alone a serious one, will effect visitor footfall, revenues and company value. But the result of the often unexpected effects of the human factor (low staff morale, lack of concentration, attitude, customer interaction, etc) can all have seriously detrimental effects.

These “unintended consequences” all combine to prove that health and safety matters are integral to a business and so must always remain a core business risk management priority, and not just for “health and safety” reasons.

Unpredictable guest behaviour and compliance

Visitor numbers and revenues are directly influenced by the availability of new “thrill” rides.  Satisfying this demand renders the need to manage health and safety more challenging as equipment becomes more complex, bigger and faster.  The fact that teenagers and young adults are often the target market for the thrill rides, and are also often the most unpredictable in terms of their behaviour and compliance, with the need to impose rules for their own safety, adds to the complexity of compliance.

Low risk design is only part of the issue for those investing in, owning or managing theme parks and fairgrounds.   The level of risk and hazard every attraction or ride presents to those who maintain it, manage it or ride it, depends both on the way its risks are identified and managed, and on the understanding and “buy in” of the engineers and operators who are front and centre in making risk control successful.

Unrivalled experience.

Finch (incorporating the business previously registered at HSEC) has over twenty years’ experience as a Registered Inspection Body under the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme (“ADIPS”) providing annual servicing, maintenance and safety inspections to certify that equipment is in a safe condition.  Our team includes the HSE’s previous portfolio holder for theme parks in the National Entertainment and Leisure Operational Sector and is one of the authors of the HSE’s current authoritative Guidance on Safe Practice in Fairgrounds and amusement parks HSG175.

Finch has your back.

From every angle, Finch has your back.  We are unique in our ability to offer a seamless service to support you, who work and train together to understand your industry and your risks.   Our expertise encompasses:

  • mechanical, electrical and civil engineering experts to assist in understanding what could go wrong, what can be done to make equipment safer and ensuring that equipment manuals support the equipment in place;
  • behavioural experts who can help you to manage and achieve safer behaviours to minimise risks;
  • experienced practical lawyers specialised in health and safety who can give context to risk management and advise, defend and represent clients under investigation for health and safety offences or needing representation in court or at inquests.

Finch understands the management of assets.

Finch’s experts are trained and experienced in the international standard ISO 55001 – Asset management – Management systems – Requirements. By helping to manage your asset based business risks Finch can help you get the most from your equipment over its operating life.  Our experts do this by understanding the performance of your equipment and its interactions with people.  We have in depth knowledge and experience across a number of high-risk industries and by applying lessons learned elsewhere can help you to get the best output from engineering assets over their life time

Finch understands the context.

The leisure and entertainment industry is growing and changing both in what it delivers and how it delivers it.  This is reflected in the imminent release of revised versions of EN 13814 (Fairground and amusement park machinery and structures. Safety), HSG 175 (Fairgrounds and amusement parks: Guidance on safe practice) and the release in 2015 of the international guidance, ISO 17842 (Safety of amusement rides and amusement devices).

The tightening of the regulatory framework and both the regulator and public’s expectation that those risks are managed effectively and appropriately mean that management systems must not be left behind as technology changes.  Finch maintains a clear forward look in this industry and can help you to build, develop, audit, and maintain systems and processes that will allow you to comply with your legal and corporate duties as well as the public expectations placed upon you.

The Finch offer.

Whether you talk to us about expert witness, legal or consulting services, the in-depth intelligence and help we offer is grounded in the principles at the base of our proud, ‘hands on’ engineering roots. It makes for a unique combination: a specialist, focussed legal service allied to an insightful, deeply informed and experienced consultancy ranging over a portfolio including specialist engineering disciplines, management, health and safety and asset management.

Finch people.

Please feel free to contact any of our consultants who’ll be happy to help.


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