A construction worker has suffered an injury after falling 30 ft at Stoke-on-Trent’s famous Winter Wonderland.
While the Christmas fair was due to launch next Thursday (November 14th) at Hanley, its opening date has been delayed for one week as this incident is being dealt with, Stoke Sentinel reported.
The employee was helping to build a rollercoaster at the Winter Wonderland site, which will feature an ice rink, a Bavarian market, Santa’s Grotto, and theme park rides when it opens to the public later this month.
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were contacted by the police to help determine the circumstances of the accident, although they have not made an official statement regarding the cause of the incident yet.
However, a spokesperson from Winter Wonderland, which will be located at the Birch Terrace car park in Hanley, said: "The accident involving one of our staff is being dealt with by the police who are also in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive.”
It was added: "Given this, it is only these two agencies that have the definitive information. Therefore I am sure you can understand it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage."
Visitors will be disappointed about the week-long delay; however, they can look forward to festivities continuing until January 5th 2020 when it does finally open.
There will be plenty for people to see and do at the annual pop-up theme park. This includes roller-coasters, a 60 m tall Sky Swing ride, waltzers, dodgem cars, a mini casino, and rides for smaller children.
The Birch Terrace Car Park will also host a roofed ice rink, enabling visitors to enjoy skating whatever the weather.
Those who want to get into the Christmas spirit with a bit of shopping and tucking into delicious festive food should head to the market between November 22nd and December 28th. Here they will find plenty of traditional Bavarian stalls serving sweets, chocolates, gifts, grilled meats, and mulled wine.
Prior to December 25th, children can head to Santa’s Grotto at Winter Wonderland. Here, they will be able to meet Father Christmas in his log cabin and go home with a special gift. There will also be a Santa’s train that takes kids around a giant Christmas tree.
The event is not just for those wanting to celebrate the Yuletide season, as it continues long after December 25th. Indeed, it will also host an impressive firework display on New Year’s Eve, allowing visitors to see in 2020 with lots of fun and festivities.
As well as ensuring employees are given adequate training for working at height, Winter Wonderland will also need to have an emergency preparedness and response plan to mitigate the risks associated with setting up firework displays.
According to the HSE, category four fireworks can only be used by professional firework display operators, because “in untrained hands, they can be lethal”.
It also advises making sure the space for the spectacle is large enough and there is enough space for the explosives to land away from the spectators. The HSE also suggests being prepared for an emergency, and making someone responsible for calling the fire service and who knows what should be done in case something goes wrong.