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Fairground operator fined £5000 after worker crushed against wall

A court has been told that a fairground accident, which led to an employee being crushed between a trailer and a wall and requiring ongoing medical treatment, was “easily preventable”.

Details of the incident, which happened at Castle Park in Bangor last year, were outlined at Downpatrick Crown Court today (Tuesday), where a County Armagh fairground operator was fined £5000 under health and safety legislation.

Nigel Bell was fined £5,000 plus costs of £1,140 after pleading guilty to a breach of Article 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978.

The case arose from a Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland investigation into an incident on April 24, 2014.

It happened during the dismantling and removal of a fairground ride.

The court heard that a 27-year-old employee was trapped after a trailer that was being pulled by nylon strapping rolled out of control.

It came to rest when it hit a wall, crushing the worker, who sustained a number of injuries to his body which still require medical treatment.

HSENI’s investigation revealed that the method Nigel Bell was using to move the trailer was unsafe and there was no mechanism to stop it rolling too far.

On this occasion his employee was crushed between the trailer and a wall.

Speaking after the hearing, Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said: “This accident was easily preventable and underlines the need for trailers to be properly attached to lorry units and for trailers to have sufficient brakes to bring them to a halt.”

Information about maintaining machinery safely and workplace transport is available on the HSENI website at or at

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