Fine Imposed in Legoland Coaster Repairman's Fall

The worker fell about 10 feet, breaking his shoulder and several ribs, when he stepped on a walkway section that had been removed and replaced but not secured, HSE reports.

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, which operates a Legoland theme park in England, has been fined £23,200 and ordered to pay costs of £12,115 after admitting to violating the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the company in connection with a June 1, 2011, incident where a 42-year-old workman fell from a walkway on a roller-coaster ride, breaking his shoulder and several ribs.

He was trying to remove two damaged roller coaster trains from a track. The court heard Feb. 7 that he was part of a team carryng out a lifting operation to remove the damaged parts from the Dragon Coaster ride when he stepped on a section of walkway that had been removed and replaced, but not secured in position. HSE investigators also found that despite this injury, the work continued in the same way the following day. The workers did not follow a risk assessment by the company that said harnesses and lanyards should have been used, according to HSE, which reported the injured worker has since returned to work.

"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," HSE Inspector Karen Morris said. "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 height are well known, and Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd was placing employees at unnecessary risk."

During 2011-12, 40 people died in workplace falls in Great Britain and about 3,500 suffered major injuries. For more information about working safely at height, visit www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

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