UK Company Fined $198,000 After Two Hurt in Falls

"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," said Tania van Rixtel, the HSE inspector.

A British aircraft engineering company has been fined about $198,000 after two workers fell about 15 feet while they were carrying out checks at the tail of an airplane. The Health and Safety Executive reported March 15 that an employee of Inflite Engineering Services and an agency worker suffered broken bones after they fell at Stansted Airport on June 10, 2015.

They were working on 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 10 to 15 feet. One, 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 other man, age 60, suffered a broken wrist and a chipped a bone on his spine.

An HSE investigation found no suitable risk assessment was done. Inflite Engineering Limited, based at Stansted, pleaded guilty March 15 to breaches under Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,492.90.

"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," said Tania van Rixtel, the HSE inspector. "Aircraft maintenance companies are reminded that not all risks are covered by the Aircraft Maintenance Manual, and additional measures need to be introduced."

As of December 2016, Stansted was the busiest single-terminal airport in the UK, with 24 million passengers per year using it and plans to raise that to 35 million.

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