An airport in the West Midlands has been fined a six-figure sum for health and safety failings after a youngster was trapped on a luggage conveyor belt.
The six-year-old boy had his leg crushed after becoming caught in a baggage belt in the arrivals hall at Birmingham International Airport on September 4, 2016.
The boy had managed to get into a mesh cage that is used for oversized luggage. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard.
While on the “out of gauge” conveyor, the machinery began to move, trapping the youngster’s leg in the process.
Reports by the Birmingham Mail at the time of the incident, explained how the father of the boy had to climb into the conveyor to rescue him.
An ambulance service spokesman told the Mail that the boy had been freed when emergency services arrived.
He continued: “He was treated for injuries to his arms and legs, given pain relief and transported to Birmingham Children’s Hospital by land ambulance.
“A man was also assessed for a knee injury but did not require transporting to hospital.”
The child was kept in hospital for two nights for observation, the court was told.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident, finding that a decision had been made by airport management to remove a safety device that could have prevented the incident from occurring.
The replacement device that had been fitted provided an inadequate level of protection.
Geoffrey Brown, an inspector for the regulator, said “This case will serve as a reminder that risk assessments and guarding of machinery requires regular review and monitoring especially where arrangements are altered or removed.
“Had the airport assessed the changes properly these injuries could have been avoided”.
Birmingham Airport Limited of Bickenhill, Solihull, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The magistrates have fined the West Midlands’ airport £100,000, plus costs of £1,251.23.
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Reference 2: Birmingham Mail
Date Published: January 13, 2018
Author: Jackie Kingsley