Firm fined over spate of falls at work

Three employees at an aircraft maintenance firm were injured in separate falls at work within the space of just five months, a court heard.

ATC (Lasham) Limited, of Lasham Airfield, Hampshire, was fined a total of £35,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,430 after pleading guilty to three breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Salisbury Crown Court heard two of the accidents happened in July 2011 and the third five months later in November.

The first accident at work happened when a 60-year-old employee repairing a faulty aircraft door fell out of it and on to the runway five metres below.

No safeguards to stop fall

The court heard that when the door flew out under pressure, the man was pulled out of the plane as there were no safeguards in place to stop a fall.

The employee, who has since been able to go back to work, suffered a broken thigh and ankle and had to have pins and rods inserted to aid his recovery.

Just 18 days later, a 48-year-old contractor fell three metres to the ground as he tried to get down from inside a Boeing 757 wing fuel tank. He fell and broke his knee when a weld on the scissor lift he was standing on gave way, the court heard.

‘Lack of safety procedures in place’

The third accident at work happened when an employee, then aged 67, fell from an aircraft platform, fracturing one of his thumbs in three places. The court heard the platform had no guardrail in between its steps and the aircraft.

The HSE told the court that the firm had failed to provide a safe working system and equipment in all three incidents. It said there was a lack of safety procedures in place for working at height while the equipment provided was unsuitable and unmaintained.

Following the accidents, the HSE served several prohibition and improvement notices, the court was told.

If you’ve been injured in a fall at work experts at Accident Advice Helpline can help you make a claim for compensation. Call free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone to find out more.

Source: Health and Safety Executive 

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