I am not sure how useful (untrained) mystery shoppers would be in monitoring compliance with safety procedures. This would seem to be more of a PR exercise (if Merlin publish the results) than a genuine way of improving safety.
The off-ride H&S checks are as important as the on-ride checks, especially at the non theme park attractions. Making sure that the building checks are done as required (most of these are basic such as checking fire exit routes, fire alarm systems, emergency lighting, trip hazards and other risks). Staff training in emergency procedures is also key. These cannot be checked fully by a mystery shopper as it would involve triggering emergency systems and accessing back of house areas.
Merlin should have improved its off-ride checks after being fined £150,000 by the HSE
after a 4 year old suffered serious head injuries after falling from the Tomb Blaster queue at Chessington.
HSE Inspector wrote:
“Quite simply, Chessington had insufficient measures in place to prevent or control the risk of falling from the raised walkway in the first place – and this was not just a couple of feet from the ground but nearly four metres.
“This incident shows the importance of implementing robust systems for checking and maintaining all aspects of rides, and this includes the walkways and fencing associated with queuing and where people gather.”