The quality and safety of all our rides and attractions are of the utmost importance and therefore a considerable amount of time and effort is spent on making all visits a safe and fun experience. Merlin Entertainments Group who own the theme park are Europe’s leading operator and developer of visitor attractions. Due to the complexity of theme park operations in the UK a summary of all main health and safety requirements is set out below:
Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 – This is the principle Act that applies to the company and is to ensure that all workers in all occupations are protected by law. Its purpose is to provide one comprehensive integrated system of law, dealing with health, safety and welfare of employees and members of the public who are affected by work activities. The Act is written in very general terms and does not require many specific requirements for managing health and safety at work. Instead, the Act places a general duty on employers to provide safe systems of work that are so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.
Under the HASWA Act 1974 are many specific regulations which relate to work activities on site. The principle requirement being to undertake risk assessments to identify ‘hazards’ and assess the risk under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
- The health and safety policy is signed by the Chief Executive Officer for Merlin Entertainments Group and the Divisional Director for the park.
- Risk Assessments are undertaken by all departmental Managers with reference to the work activities that they manage. Risk Assessments are reviewed at least annually or if any significant change takes place with regard to a work activity or area of work. Due to the volume of risk assessment documents it is not possible to send these out on an individual basis.
- The park is covered by Public Liability Insurance. The amount of cover provided by this policy is &10 million. The Policy is with ACE Insurance (Policy No: 47UKAO7552).
- The park is duel enforced by the local Health and Safety Executive and Environmental Health Department.
Engineering/Maintenance of Rides:
All new rides must be designed and manufactured in accordance with strict standards and comply with UK requirements. Any new ride specifications with associated calculations are submitted to an outside independent inspection engineer in order to establish that the design is sound. This includes all aspects of the ride, i.e. forces involved, type of restraint, type of passenger carrying unit, any restrictions such as height, this process being known as ‘verification’.
In addition to this all existing rides and new rides have an ‘In-Service Annual Inspection’ by outside independent inspection engineers to ensure the safety and integrity of the ride for each season. Daily inspections are also carried out by our own qualified engineers.
The operation of all rides on park is conformant with strict documented procedures and manufacturers guidance. The rides team have a considerable amount of experience in operating rides and attractions which ensures safe operating standards.
All ride operators are over 18 and undergo a company medical for fitness. They are also rigorously trained to a high level of competence specifically related to each ride they operate. Operators undergo supervised training hours for each ride. All ride attendants are over 16.
Chessington Zoo at Chessington World of Adventures Resort is operated under strict licensing conditions as established within the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. A dedicated team of experienced zookeepers cares for the collection of birds, mammals and reptiles. All the birds, mammals and reptiles are protected behind suitably constructed barriers where the adventurer is able to see the exhibit but unable to touch.
The park operates food catering outlets which are operated by trained employees. The food units operate in accordance with the Food Safety Act 1990 and are regularly inspected by the local Environmental Health Department. The park also contracts an independent consultancy which carries food safety/hygiene inspections twice a year on all food retail outlets on park.
First Aid Facilities:
The park has First Aid facilities which are operated by a dedicated team of qualified first aiders. Each park also has a defibrillator located in each facility with a team of employees trained to operate this equipment. First aiders are trained to deal with all minor injuries on site and also in the initial stages of any major injuries that may occur until the emergency services arrive at the scene. The park has hospitals nearby with Accident and Emergency facilities.
The facilities also operate a lost person collection point so that they may be reunited for those responsible for them.
The park has a contingency plan in the event of an emergency. The emergency plan covers incidents such as Fire, Bomb, Ride/Attraction/Boat Disaster. The emergency plans for the park has been developed in conjunction with the local emergency services who have regular meetings with the park regarding emergency procedures.
The park has a dedicated security team who are able to deal with any minor security issues on site. The security team spend their time patrolling the park and dealing with any security related matters. The security team is also trained to deal with any emergency incidents that occur on park.
NB: Please note that Chessington World of Adventures Resort employs a full-time Health and Safety Manager who facilitates the company’s commitment and compliance with health and safety legislation.
We hope this answers your question.