Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd has been fined £23,000 after a member of staff fell from a ride at Legoland Windsor in 2011.
The company pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was also ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.
A 42-year-old maintenance worker fell from the Dragon Coaster, suffering breaks to a shoulder and several ribs.
Merlin Attractions Operations, which is the UK theme park operating arm of Merlin Entertainments, said that “a prosecution was wholly unjustified” but it “chose to plead guilty and draw a line under this incident”.
The injured man has returned to work since the 1 June 2011 incident – which according to the BBC involved him attempting to remove “two damaged trains from a track”.
“Inadequate fall protection”
Reading Magistrates Court heard that he fell around 9 feet when he stepped on to a section of walkway that had been replaced but not secured.
Following the hearing, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman 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.”
Merlin has taken a defiant stance following the case, and a spokeswoman for Legoland said the park had “taken all reasonable steps to ensure the safety” of workers but that the HSE had “taken no account of our excellent safety record, procedures and culture”.
“This was in our opinion an unfortunate accident for which a prosecution was wholly unjustified,” she said.
“Given the circumstances we believe this is neither fair nor reasonable.
“However, the regulations in question give little scope for any defence and therefore the company chose to plead guilty and draw a line under this incident.”
Merlin Attractions Operations was last year found guilty over the death of a man who fell from a bridge at Warwick Castle, and ordered to pay almost £500,000.