Theme park fined after worker falls from rollercoaster

Published: 14/02/2013

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd has been fined £23,000 after one of its workers fell from a rollercoaster walkway and broke his shoulder and several ribs.

The accident at work occurred at its Legoland, Windsor theme park when a 42-year-old worker was required to remove two damaged rollercoaster train tracks from the Dragon Coaster ride. However he stepped onto a section of walkway which had previously been removed and replaced but not properly secured, causing him to fall over three metres and sustain the injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) later revealed that despite this serious accident work continued on the rollercoaster the following day. The employer also failed to use harnesses and lanyards which, according to a risk assessment, should have been used to carry out the work.

Karen Morris of the HSE comments:

“This incident and the injury to the worker were avoidable and show the importance of using safe systems of work when carrying out tasks at height.

“It is quite unacceptable that the day after someone was injured in this way, more work is carried out to complete the task and allowed to continue in the same way with inadequate fall protection or fall prevention measures in place.

“The dangers of falls from heights are well known, and Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd was placing employees at unnecessary risk.”

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd admitted to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £12,115.

Content correct at time of publication

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