A woman suffered a deadly fall from in a roller coaster accident this past week according to media reports. Investigations into the cause of her falling in the accident are ongoing but witnesses believe that the safety bar was broken. One bystander reported that the accident victim complained about the restraint system, saying that the mechanism wasn’t working properly just before the roller coaster car left the station. According to a specialist who inspects amusement park rides, safety issues and deaths like this most often occur when someone is negligent or makes a mistake. Community activists warn that better staff training and safety warnings are needed to prevent injuries or wrongful deaths at fairs and parks. Some worry that park owners don’t take safety seriously unless someone gets hurt or killed. Local safety advocates say that there are similar dangers lurking in the parks and fair grounds of the New York and New Jersey area. They note that local and state laws need to be scrutinized to make sure that public safety is maintained to the highest standards and to prevent accidents and injuries on rides like this. Various methods should be employed to prevent hazardous conditions that can lead to a fall or other accident. These include proper design of the rides, skilled installation of the machinery, vigilant inspections of the equipment according to manufacturer specifications and regular preventative maintenance. In addition, to prevent human error, extensive initial training and ongoing refresher training is needed for all workers involved with the rides. What concerns some observers in this serious accident is that the victim herself complained about the ride’s safety harness possibly being broken but no one inspected it before starting the ride. Some have questioned if this constituted negligence and whether or not negligent maintenance was involved. You can read more about the safety of amusement park rides here.
Photo by NeoUrfahraner (Self-published work by NeoUrfahraner) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons