An exciting day out at a theme park turned into a nightmare for one family when their five year old daughter suffered severe injuries to her foot and leg.
Five year old Lucy Hibbert had been on the Ladybird Ride at Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Yorkshire when her leg came out of the carriage and became trapped between the carriage and platform edge. As the carriage extended along the platform, her foot remained stuck causing severe ligament, cartilage and nerve damage. She has had to endure reconstructive surgeries as a result of her injuries.
Lucy’s father, Paul Hibbert, said: “Lucy has undergone extensive physiotherapy to help strengthen and heal her foot after the second round of reconstructive surgeries.
Her foot is still lumpy and scarred and is a size and a half smaller than her other foot so we need to pack her shoes with tissues so they don’t slip off.”
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a contractor hired to carry out an assessment had failed to identify the risk of entrapment between the carriage and the platform.
Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd of Merseyside, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000. Contractor David Geary also pleaded guilty, was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: “The company failed to ensure that members of the public were not exposed to such risks. The possibility of limbs being trapped in this way on the Ladybird ride was foreseeable and should have been dealt with properly by both parties.
“Following the start of the HSE investigation, an Improvement Notice was served on Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd and it made a number of changes to the ride to reduce the risk of entrapment.”
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Source: HSE Executive