British Airways Plc has been fined following a vehicle collision at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport.
Southwark Crown Court heard that on 16 March 2018, an employee was struck by a tug pulling a train of dollies (vehicles used to transport baggage around the airport). She was knocked under another passing tug with dollies loaded with luggage, sustaining serious crush injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the injured worker was using the centre of the roadway between the two lanes as a walking route and this unsafe practice had been commonplace in the baggage hall for at least ten years. The investigation also identified significant failings in the general management of health and safety and workplace transport risks, including issues relating to supervision and monitoring, risk assessment and training.
British Airways PLC of Waterside, Harmondsworth, Greater London pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £1.8 million and ordered to pay costs of £35,724.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Megan Carr said: “The situation in the baggage hall at Heathrow Terminal 5 was an incident waiting to happen.
“British Airways failed to appreciate the serious nature of the risks to which its employees were exposed and as a result failed to take appropriate action to ensure they were properly protected.”
Note to editors:
1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. 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. For more information about working safely at work with vehicles please visit our website here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/