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Theme Park Operator Sentenced Following Roller Coaster Derailment

9 passengers were injured and taken to hospital following the derailment of a train that crashed into the ground just 16 days after being inspected and cleared as safe.

In June 2016, a train on the Tsunami Roller Coaster at M & D’s Theme Park in Motherwell derailed and crashed into the ground whilst carrying 9 passengers. The train derailed whilst descending through a curve at a height of 5 metres. The ride itself was removed in 2017, 8 months after the incident occurred. 

The HSE investigation found that the the Roller Coaster was not maintained in an efficient state and was not in good working order nor repair. In addition, unsafe weld repairs were also identified on the axels.

In July 2016, the HSE issued a Safety Alert to the Fairground Trade Associations where they confirmed that a Prohibition Notice had been issued to a Mr Boswell of Amusement Inspection Services (AIS), the the rides Inspector, who had issued a Declaration of Operational Compliance (DOC) just 16 days before the incident occured. Mr Boswell voluntarily removed himself from Adips Register, a scheme in place for Fairground and Amusement Park safety.  Ride operators were told in the update to take action to ensure that their rides were safe to use, especially if they had a DOC issued by Mr Boswell.

M & D (Leisure) Limited pleaded guilty to the to breaching regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and were subsequently fined £65,000 on the 8th March 2019. 

HSE Inspector Martin McMahon said “This was a serious incident that resulted in members of the public being badly injured while they were supposed to be enjoying themselves. Our investigation found the company failed to ensure the Tsunami roller coaster was properly maintained and the result of these poor maintenance procedures led directly to its catastrophic failure on 26 June 2016.”

The full HSE statement can be found here 

Quoted Legislation Links

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 | Regulation 5

Section 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 sets out a clear requirement for every employer to ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, working order and good repair.

If you need help regarding your responsibilities when it comes to PUWER, or with Health and Safety in general, then get in touch with the Orchard Compliance Solutions team on 0800 118 1674 or

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