The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted an aircraft company based at Stansted Airport in Essex, after two workers fell 15 feet while carrying out checks on the tail of a plane.
On 10 June 2015, the two men were working on mobile elevated platforms when another employee closed the wrong circuit breaker, inadvertently opening the plane’s airbrake, which knocked over both platforms.
The men fell between 10 to 15 feet – a 62-year-old worker suffered three fractures to his pelvis, a broken back, three broken ribs, a fractured elbow and a punctured right lung. A 60-year-old worker suffered a broken wrist and a chipped a bone on his spine.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that no suitable risk assessment was in place and there was a lack of effective monitoring.
On Wednesday 15 March 2017 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, Inflite Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaches under Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,492.90.
After the case, HSE Inspector Tania van Rixtel said:
“Both of these men suffered shocking injuries after falling from height, which could easily have been a double fatality.
“Our investigation found the incident could have been avoided had adequate monitoring been taking place.
“Aircraft maintenance companies are reminded that not all risks are covered by the Aircraft Maintenance Manual – and additional measures need to be introduced.”
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