Company Fined Over Crushed Worker

Fatal accident at work


Maintenance engineer Mohammed Taj, of west London, died when the 'tug' used for pulling baggage to planes fell on his head while working at Heathrow Airport in March 2008.

Aviance UK, of Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety law in not ensuring the safety of its employee.

The 52-year-old was checking the jacked-up vehicle's brakes but had no other support under the tug when it fell on him, the Old Bailey heard. The vehicle crushed him after he asked another worker to adjust the steering, the court heard.

Judge Richard Hawkins said: "The company was shown on this occasion to have fallen short of its duty of care. This, however, was not in any sense a deliberate breach of the law. It is accepted by the prosecution that the company had a good safety record."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this terrible fatal work accident.

“Employers need to ensure workers are protected from falling vehicles. This can be done by providing additional support including axle stands.

“Sadly, in this case, additional safeguards were not put in place by the employer.

“Falls from height or falling objects remain a major category of serious injury and death following an accident at work.”