Health and Safety Gone Mad?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rob, 18th Mar 2013.

  1. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Before I start, I don't want this to turn into a topic just making fun of H&S and whatnot, I'm sure most of you know what I mean by that.

    Over the past year or so I think we've all noticed various changes at Towers in regard to H&S. The fences in the gardens, the new loading policy on Oblivion, new hideous handrails on the Flume, new operational policy on RMT including how they check the lap bars, where staff must stand for dispatch and delayed restraint unlocking. And then possibly worst of all Rita, where we have this monstrosity:

    [​IMG]
    (Photo credit: TowersStreet)

    The whole fiasco after the launch cable snapped last season. It had been fine for 7 years then all of a sudden they need a scaffolding tunnel. It also has terrible effects on Rita's throughput. All because you can't stand under the launch track.

    In the cases of Rita, Oblivion and RMT the throughput's of the rides have been effected significantly. It is frustrating and not seen in any other parks anywhere in the world. So I ask the question, has H&S gone mad? There is of course a place for H&S; it is needed and it is important. But over the last year there have been some things that do seem over the top and I feel they are having a negative effect on guest satisfaction.

    :)
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  2. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    As far as I'm aware Rita does not need that tunnel at all. It was originally put into place because of H&S (as in, they HAD to put it there) however there are enough fail safes now in place that will in future prevent any cable snap doing as much damage as it did last year. I think I heard Rita had a certain fail safe installed that was not originally there too? That prevents cable snaps flying everywhere. Not sure if that was just rumour though.

    H&S has gone mad the past few years. There will be even more fences placed around the Towers soon too. Sigh! Whoever is in charge clearly is enjoying their job just a little too much!
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    As far as I am aware, Towers had thought they had sorted the issues with Rita and were ready to open the park minus the tunnel. Then H&S came along the day before opening, were not satisfied and demanded the tunnel be put back up. It's almost beyond stupidity, it has been fine for 7 years, they made further modifications over the closed season. It really doesn't need the tunnel.

    :)
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  4. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    The thing is in nearly all these cases is that something HAD to be done to prevent accidents reoccurring. The problem starts when Alton Towers do an poor attempt at installing safety equipment.

    Rita could have been resolved with a fairly small steel trough under the track to catch the cable and fragments should it ever snap again. In addition to that, more frequent testing and monitoring of the cable should be put into place.

    As for the fences, ok some unprotected edges do need fences, but make them fairly small and make them blend in. I still find it funny how some steep slopes in children areas of the park are not fenced at all and the front lake is completely unprotected. Sometime, all you need to do is wack a few signs up and leave it. If anyone is daft enough to fall (in the gardens onto soft grass) then surely thats their fault!?

    RMT has a stupid dispatch sequence in place that is frankly completely madness. If you can stand on Air station within a foot of the train coming into the station, why is it necessary to stop staff from getting close to the RMT which sits lower down? Surely staff are not stupid enough to walk in front of it?

    Oblivion's dispatch is just as bad and was caused by certain procedures not being followed. Therefore, dont change the procedures, change the staff that didn't bother to follow them! If everyone did as the manual said, then nothing would have gone wrong in the first place and there would have been no need to change the way you did things.

    In short, the park should not ruin the guests experience, simply because they either dont trust the staff or guests not to kill themselves or the ride might be unsafe. Instead, look at the underlying problems, fix those and do everything possible to IMPROVE the guests experience on the park.
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Health and safety people just find things to panic about in order to make themselves look important. All they are interested in is their own job. It was the same at the BBC.
    I like the German attitude: If you get hurt... You're an idiot.
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  6. Thomas

    Thomas TowersStreet Member

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    Three Questions:

    1) Is it permanent?
    2) How on Earth are wooden planks and a ladder frame going to protect people?
    3) How long till an idiot climbs up it? It looks fairly easy in parts!
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  7. Sam

    Sam TowersStreet Member

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    The Health & Safety priorities at Towers are baffling.

    They've added on gates to make sure staff can't be on the RMT platform when the ride is running, but there are still no airgates whatsoever for guests at the monorail stations?

    I'm not saying there should be. It just seems strange that while both enter the station at a similar speed, one can't even have a trained member of staff on the platform and the other can have hundreds of guests swarming round with no barriers whatsoever. :S
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  8. Olii

    Olii TowersStreet Member

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    Can I just ask, what is this speak of a new loading policy on Oblivion? Don't think I've heard about it before? :)
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  9. LiamC

    LiamC TowersStreet Member

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    In most cases this is true, however getting whipped by a snapped steal cable generally wouldn't be anyone's fault ;)

    Anyway, H&S and Rita in particular is now just beyond a joke in my eyes. The scaffolding looks really really REALLY awful. I don't understand the point in adding a tray underneath the launch track and then adding more underneath it just seems stupid and a waste of time and money. I also noticed the seem to holding the queue back even further now than was done last season. Granted this wasn't much of an issue this weekend, however once The Smiler opens and the season gets going a bit more, this is going to greatly exacerbate the time spent queuing.

    Shame that this has happened really, it all seems so unnecessary :(

    From what I could tell, two hosts check every belt on each seat over the rows. Why two need to check it I don't know :/
     
    Posted 18th Mar 2013
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  10. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Also on Oblivion, they now do not open the air gates until everyone is off the shuttle and on the whole out of the station. It seems to take an eternity for them to open whereas they used to open almost as soon as guests started getting off the shuttle.

    :)
     
  11. Olii

    Olii TowersStreet Member

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    Oh okay :) Bit silly really, seeing as though I believe there are already 16 safety sensors on each seat... And the air gates thing seems pointless too...
     
  12. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    I'd of thought that was obvious! Just put an even bigger cage up around the launch itself! :p

    H&S has its place and in some situations it is needed. The Rita situation for example. If the powers that be aren't happy with the safe guards then so be it, as if the cable were to snap again and someone was hurt then it would be their responsibility. The tunnel isn't pretty, and dosent really do a lot towards making Dark Forest any easier to get around, but if it is keeping guests safe then so be it.

    Other cases however are truly ridicules! The amount of post and rope fences that have popped up over the years is stupid. It's situations like that that gusts have to take some responsibility for them selves and their kids. If there's a big drop in the gardens don't stand on the edge! You can't go in there in the dark, it's never really so foggy that you can't see wher eyour going. So if you fall off a wall in the garden you have only yourself to blame, JUST DON'T STAND ON THE BLOODY WALL IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!

    A good example is what I saw yesterday morning in the gardens of ATH. Two young kids totally unsupervised playing on the stepping stones.

    1. Where were their parents?
    2. Why were they left to play outside on their own?
    3. Who do you think would of been blamed if one of them had slipped and broke their leg?

    Even though those stepping stones have been there for 18 years with little or no incident, if one of those kids has hurt themselves then whey would of been closed off or even removed. All down to the parents inability to keep an eye on their kids. When I was younger I'd of got a clip round the ear and a good telling off if I even went near the door! Never mind walk across the garden and onto stepping stones in a lake!!!

    Unfortunately it's the culture we live in today that if you hurt yourself somehow due to your own stupidity you are some now entitled to sue someone for it.
     
  13. Meat Pie

    Meat Pie TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not going to defend all H&S decisions, but I would like to point out that Health and Safety officers have saved more lives then you lot probably ever will, so maybe you should hold off with the sneering cynicism.

    More often then not, the bizarre over-the-top cases are actually the fault of the establishment who apply excessive measures instead of taking the sensible advice of H&S officials.
     
  14. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Yes, but delaying the opening of air gates on Oblivion really isn't going to save anyone's life. No-ones died from them not doing it for 15 years, it's just stupid and ruins the throughput.

    As I said in my original post, there is of course a place for H&S. It's just that right now at Towers there seem to be some very over the top cases where methods that have worked for many years with no problems have suddenly become 'unsafe' and changed, causing a negative impact on guest satisfaction. Guest satisfaction is key to the success of any park.

    :)
     
  15. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    Thing is the human race what's got this far without the need for such excessive nanny state mentality. In years gone by a lot of the situations where people are claiming damages would of been unheard of. At the end of the day evolution of down to survival of the fittest. If you haven't got the common sence to keep yourself out of harms way where possible then maybe your not cut out for going outside your full body armour on?

    And I know someone will say the usual "we'll you would be upset if it was your loved one" and yes I probably would be, but I'd also be bloody furiouse at said love one for being so bloody irasponsible in the first place.

    Obviously that only applies to those cases when people do something staggeringly stupid, Cases where there has been some sort of mechanical cock up or other such thing are obviously beyond the average persons control. Which is where genuine Health and Safety guidelines are required. Not jobsworths and scare mongers that pick on on things simply for the hell of it.
     
  16. Meat Pie

    Meat Pie TowersStreet Member

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    So someone that makes a mistake or one stupid act deserves to die in you archaic outlook? One complex unique human being wiped out, and that's fine by you as long as it's their fault?

    That's a truly inhuman and selfish thing to think.

    Putting in cheap but effective barrirers to stop someone from doing something silly, or even just make it harder to do, hurts no-one but has massive potential to stop pain or even a fatality just by dscouraging recklessness.

    Anyway, as I said but everyone seems to have ignored, if you are to blame excessiveness in the name of Health and Saftey, don't blame Health and Saftey itself. Blame establishments like Alton Towers who may have misinterpretted the H&S report. Very rarely do H&S officials advise something unnecessary, it's the companies who are the source of the problem.
     
  17. Sam

    Sam TowersStreet Member

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    I'm glad we don't live in a country like this (not that Germany actually is of course). If you go to a theme park as a normal person, you should have a reasonable expectation that you won't get hurt on any of the rides even if you don't know their exact operating procedures.

    Fortunately the UK has a significantly lower accident rate in the theme park and fair industry when compared to other countries around the world that are more inclined to share your cavalier attitude to human life. ::)
     
  18. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Clearly there's a balance to be found. Whilst I'd love RMT to be operated identically to EP's Alpenexpress I don't begrudge them doing a full check of the lap bars to ensure everyone is secure. On the other hand these new rules stating bars can only be checked from the offload side (meaning there's only 1 staff member checking the whole train) and the new dispatch buttons for hosts are entirely unnecessary and destroys the throughput of the ride. RMT's queue line used to be 25-30 minutes when full, these days it's 40+ even with no fastrack - entirely because of how inefficiently the ride now has to be operated.
     
  19. Sam

    Sam TowersStreet Member

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    One thing worth keeping in mind when talking about H&S at Towers is that, as one of the world's biggest theme parks with some of the most technologically advanced rides ever built, the park's fatality count since 1980 is a grand total of...

    0

    Taking into account the size of the park and their guest figures for the last thirty years, this is an almost unparalleled safety record in the industry. Compare this to Disney, or Six Flags, or Cedar Fair.
     
  20. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Back when the Towers were built, this was Health and safety:
    [​IMG]

    And we've been getting stupider ever since. ::)
     

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