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Father left in coma after fall from height

20 February 2023

AN AIRCRAFT maintenance company has been fined £230k after a worker fell from height while inspecting wings at its facility in Cardiff.

Iain Mawson, a British Airways Maintenance Cardiff Ltd employee, was placed into an induced coma for three weeks such were the extent of his injuries, which included numerous skull fractures and a brain haemorrhage.

Cardiff Magistrates Court heard how Mr Mawson fell through a gap in the guard rail of the docking platform where safety barriers had been removed.

The 52-year-old also suffered multiple fractures to his ribs, scapula, vertebrae and collar bone as a result of the incident on 10 November 2019 and has not been able to return to work since.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to adequately analyse the risks and avoid removal of guardrail safety barriers or ensure safety barriers were replaced.

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff Ltd of Waterside, PO Box 365 Harmondsworth  UB7 0GB pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974  and has been fined £230,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,623.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sara Lumley said, “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.