9 April, 2015
THEME PARK INTRODUCES NEW ARMY-STYLE TRAINING PASSES
A Pembrokeshire theme park has introduced ‘training passports’ for all ride staff as part of a new safety initiative.
Every member of ride staff at Oakwood Theme Park wears a special pass on lanyards around their necks detailing their training record for each ride and indicating which rides they are qualified to operate.
The passport scheme is part of a series of new safety initiatives introduced to the park over the past 12 months.
The idea for the passes came from Oakwood’s new ride operations and health and safety manager Barry Clegg MBE.
Prior to joining the theme park team, Barry spent several years in the army where the training passport scheme was used to clearly show which soldiers were able to drive specific types of military vehicle.
“We wanted our Ride Operators to feel proud of their training and also to have a full training record with them whilst on park,” said Barry.
“This enables our Rides Team to have ownership of their progression, showing all the rides that they are currently trained on.
“Whilst serving in the Armed Forces I used to have a document called the FMT 600 for use with driving qualifications and authorisation permits for vehicles.
“It was this idea of a similar formalised document which is easily carried and is also a great opportunity to show how professional our staff are.
“The passes also provide further reassurance to our visitors of just how importantly we view safety and welfare issues,” he added.
In addition to the training passports, both ride managers and park managers have introduced a number of other protocols this season.
As well as the regular monitoring process for ride operatives, which includes continuous CCTV coverage of all rides and extensive daily, weekly and monthly ride inspection programmes, ride and park managers are now carrying out their own ride observations throughout the day.
These observations are all logged and then used in daily briefing meetings.
“Any potential issues which have been flagged up can be immediately addressed and dealt with as soon as we become aware of them,” said Barry.
Set in 90 acres of spectacular Pembrokeshire countryside, Oakwood is one of the UK’s leading theme parks with more than 30 exhilarating attractions; including four world class rides to enjoy.
The Pembrokeshire attraction has invested in excess of £6m in recent years on a series of new attractions including the Peter Pan-themed ‘Neverland’, a major new indoor soft-play area ‘Hook’s House of Havoc’, ‘Circusland’ for younger visitors and the Oak Tree Restaurant Bar & Grill which showcases the best in local produce.