HSE prosecutes theme park after worker injury

INDUSTRY ROUNDUP FOR THE WEEK ENDING 11 FEB 2013

The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted the Legoland theme park after a repair job on a roller coaster went terribly wrong for one of its employees.

The park, located in Berkshire, had been undergoing maintenance on the ‘Dragon Coaster’ ride in order to remove two coaster trains that had become damaged and that were in need of repair. However, during the procedure a forty two year old employee – whose identity has not been made known to the press – fell from a height of more than three metres as he stepped on to an improperly secured walkway section that had recently been replaced, according to the man’s personal injury claims.

The personal injury at work the employee sustained included several broken ribs and a broken shoulder. However, the man has since been able to once more return to work after recovering from his injuries, say his personal injury lawyers. While the worker recovered, his employers were not so lucky, as the HSE conducted an investigation that discovered that the theme park had indeed had a risk assessment undertaken on the repair work – a risk assessment that found it necessary to have maintenance workers wearing safety harnesses and lanyards – but that the company did not follow through on the risk assessment.

The HSE took a bit of a dim view of Merlin Attractions Operations, the owners of the Legoland park, in not complying with health and safety regulations. A company spokesman spoke out in protest against what Merlin Attractions characterised as a ‘wholly unjustified’ prosecution, adding that the watchdog agency neglected to take Legoland’s otherwise excellent safety record into account, yet this didn’t stop the company from eventually entering a guilty plea in the hearing – resulting in a £23,200 fine.

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