An aircraft engineering company based at Stansted Airport has been fined by the HSE after two men were injured in an accident at work.
Accident at work
Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how an agency worker and an employee of Inflite Engineering Services were carrying out checks at the tail of an aeroplane on 10 June 2015. The men were working on either side of the tail using mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) at the time of the accident at work incident.
The court heard how third employee closed the wrong circuit breaker, which opened the plane’s air-brake and knocked over the two MEWPs.
Both the agency worker and the Inflite employee fell around 10-15 feet to the ground below. One man, 62, suffered a broken back, three fractures to his pelvis, a punctured lung and a fractured elbow. The second man, 60, suffered a chipped bone on his spine, as well as a broken wrist.
An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no adequate risk assessment was in place. Furthermore, HSE found there was a lack of suitable monitoring in place while the work was being carried out.
Almost two years later, Inflite Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The firm was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,492.90.
HSE Inspector Tania van Rixtel said after the hearing:
“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.”
Accident at work – expert advice
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Source: Health & Safety Executive