Theme park safety: increasing the fairground attraction

The tragic death of 11-year-old Evha Jannath on Drayton Manor’s Splash Canyon ride in May was naturally a terrible blow to all who knew her. It was also a shock to the UK’s theme park sector, which has worked hard to maintain an almost impeccable safety record.

The numbers speak for themselves. According to the BBC, Jannath’s was the first theme park fatality in the UK since 2004. Based on a 2009 admissions figure of 13.8 million visitors a year, that equals less than a one in 179 million chance of dying during a theme park visit.

To put that figure in context, the chances of winning the jackpot in the UK National Lottery are around one in 14 million. In other words, you are more than 100 times more likely to win the National Lottery jackpot than you are to lose your life in a theme park.

Is that good enough? Of course not. Visitor attractions must strive for an accident rate of zero, forever, and not just because it’s the right thing to do. Accidents are also terribly bad for business.

The Splash Canyon tragedy, for example, led Drayton Manor to close altogether for a day, as well as shutting the water ride for the duration of the investigation that followed. At least one other operator, Alton Towers, closed a similar ride as a precaution.

On top of the loss of revenue that this may have represented, operators face heavy investigation costs and the potential for hefty fines if any wrongdoing is uncovered. And then there’s the massive reputational damage that accompanies an accident.

Despite this, and for all the safety precautions that theme park operators already take, it is unrealistic to expect that accidents will never ever happen. When they do, the best an operator can hope for is to show they had done everything in their hand to avoid it.

This means showing evidence of regular equipment inspections, demonstrating staff had the right training and certifications, and generally being able to prove that every health and safety requirement was being adhered to.

Dealing with all this paperwork is a hefty task, but there are now tools that will allow any theme park operator to do the job quickly and easily. It’s a small investment in exchange for helping to make sure no further theme park deaths are reported for a long, long time.

A Milestone For Papertrail: Inspections Reach 2,000,000

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Myself and the team at Papertrail are proud of our adventure background and fiercely proud of helping keep people safe along with our environmental responsibilities. When we took the concept of Papertrail to reality, the solution we had in mind was to deliver:

  1.  A technology that reduced the amount of paper being used in the trail of inspections for checking assets and safety procedures. The risk being loss of paper, or too much paper used, wasn’t just bad for the environment but it also increased risk with too many human steps in the process.
  2. A solution that made the whole inspection process a lot easier and therefore we could do more with the limited time we had. This was a fact of life, not enough time, too many tasks!
  3. Because of the insurance implications and regulatory pressures, the solution was to improve accountability and increase information transparency. This didn’t just speed up time of delivering what was needed and reduce frustration, it also demonstrated control.

Continue Reading…

What Health and Safety Training Do Climbing Instructors Need?

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Climbing instructors need to be ready to work with climbers with a wide range of skills. From children who have just started to learn, to experienced adults who are training between outdoor bouldering sessions.

Instructors without the proper training and experience are a risk to those they are meant to support. Continue Reading…

Papertrail Welcomes New Partners: Aerial Adventure Tech

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Papertrail is delighted to announce that Aerial Adventure Tech has recently joined our family of global safety partners.

Based in the Southern Appalachian Mountain range of North Carolina, Aerial Adventure Tech has a small but dedicated team with over 25 years experience in the adventure industry. Continue Reading…

What Regulations Affect You?

papertrail-regulations

Who says I have to inspect my equipment and keep records?

There is legislation within the EU that clearly specifies what businesses should be doing to keep people safe – no matter what industry they’re involved in. However, as with all legislation, it can be very difficult to find out what we should be doing, and how we should be doing it. The following information will help you adhere to these regulations, and understand where each of them may apply to your business. Papertrail will then help you manage this and put it all into practice in a clear and simple way. Continue Reading…

Going for Gold: AHOEC & The Frank Chapman Centre

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Gaining quality badges and awards such as AHOEC Gold, Adventure Mark and LoTC can give outdoor education providers a distinctive advantage in a competitive marketplace. Gaining certification not only means that providers are offering a quality service, but that they’re operating to the highest possible safety standards too. So we’re always thrilled to hear when Papertrail users are recognised in this way. Continue Reading…