Health and Safety UK

£160,000 fine for aircraft company after workers fell from the tail of a plane

An aircraft engineering company has been fined after two men fell about 15 feet while they were carrying out checks at the tail of an aeroplane.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that an employee of Inflite Engineering Services and an agency worker suffered broken bones after the fall at Stansted Airport on 10 June 2015.

They were working either side of the tail using mobile elevated work 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. One employee, a 62-year-old man, suffered three fractures to his pelvis, a broken back, three broken ribs, a fractured elbow and a punctured right lung. The second man, 60, suffered a broken wrist and a chipped a bone on his spine.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that no suitable risk assessment was in place and there was a lack of effective monitoring.

Today, Wednesday 15 March 2017, Inflite Engineering Limited, based a Stansted Airport, 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.

Speaking 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.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Industry specific guidance can be found at https://www.citb.co.uk/documents/csk-gs001-solar-infomaster.pdf

Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases.


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