Aviation services co fined £502k after two hurt in separate falls
Tuesday 27th February 2018
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The first accident happened while suitcases were being unloaded from an aircraft on to a flatbed lorry in June 2015.
Luton Crown Court was told that a baggage handler team leader was standing on the back of the flatbed and instructed his colleague to take the bags to the inbound terminal.
The colleague climbed into the cab of the lorry, checked his mirrors and drove away without noticing his boss was still on the vehicle.
The team leader fell off and sustained spinal injuries that left him unable to work for eight weeks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Swissport GB had not introduced a safe system of work to address the risk of employees falling from lorries.
In September the same year a night worker was moving goods on to an aircraft with a cargo high loader. He slipped and fell backwards while climbing the access ladder and sustained an impact injury to his right foot.
The company had failed to properly plan work at height, the HSE said, which was not carried out in a safe manner and was not properly supervised.
Swissport GB pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations. It was fined £502,000 and ordered to pay costs of £44,444.
Passenger suitcases were being unloaded from a commercial aircraft and lifted on to a flatbed truck before being driven to the terminal building at London Luton Airport in June 2015. The baggage handlers, who were Swissport employees and agency workers, stacked the suitcases above the height restriction marked on the truck cab’s rear window, obstructing the driver’s view.
Ambulance Victoria pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment and failing to ensure volunteer officers were not exposed to risks under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The organisation was fined A$200,000 (£113,500) on each charge at Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on 8 March.
Andrew Hill will be charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 11 people who were killed when the Hawker Hunter jet he was flying smashed into a section of the busy A27 road after a loop-the-loop stunt went wrong on 22 August 2015. Hill, 53, will also be charged with endangering an aircraft under Art 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, which states “a person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft”.
The accident happened at Mac Skip Hire’s site in Hinckley, Leicestershire, on 4 November 2015. Leicester Magistrates’ Court was told that the employee was trying to remove overhanging waste from a moving shovel loader when she was crushed between it and her lorry. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found the company had failed to implement systems and site rules for loading operations. It was served an improvement notice to ensure pedestrians and vehicles could circulate safely. This was complied with in February 2016.
In January, the Humber Bridge Board (HBB) brought its first private prosecution against an “urban explorer”, Ryan Taylor, who had scaled the 155.5 m tall Barton Tower on the structure’s south bank without permission. The climber was part of a group that had clambered over a barrier and used the bridge’s suspension wires as handrails to walk up the cables to the tower summit.The group took videos and selfies from the top, posting them on YouTube. They had no harnesses or any other safety equipment.
Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, 35, was carrying out pre-flight checks on his Hawk TMk1 XX177 jet at around 11am on 8 November 2011, preparing for routine flight training. The aircraft’s engine was running but it was stationary on the Royal Air Force Scampton airbase in Lincolnshire. Cunningham’s Mk10 ejection seat inadvertently fired and sent the pilot into the air. The main parachute on the seat failed to open and he fell to the ground, sustaining multiple injuries. He later died in hospital.