Airport Worker Breaks Leg in Cleaning Machine Crash

Two firms have been prosecuted after a worker suffered a broken leg when he had to steer his cleaning machine into a balustrade at Stansted airport after the brakes failed.

Carl Marshall, 28, from Essex was forced to drive into the central dividing balustrade after the breaks on the scrubber-drier machine failed to work as he went down a sloping passenger ramp.

After the incident happened, passengers rushed to his aid and helped to free his trapped legs. Mr Marshall suffered a broken right thigh, sprained right knee and two sprained ankles which resulted in four days treatment in hospital. He has since returned to work.

The incident actually took place on 2nd July 2013 and was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive which on 10th February this year prosecuted Mr Marshall’s employer, ISS Facility Services Ltd, of Surrey and the maintenance contractor Lamick Floor Machines, of Middlesex.

It emerged in court that once Mr Marshall realised the breaks where not working, he shouted for passengers to move out the way and pulled the steering wheel hard to the right to slow the machine against the central walkway balustrade.

HSE’s investigation found that the scrubber-drier machine had a worn and ineffective brake that had been poorly maintained. A second machine was also found to have similar defects.

ISS Facility Services Limited was fine £30,000 and ordered to pay £5,490 in costs after pleading guilty.

Lamick Floor Machines was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,490 in costs after pleading guilty as well.

HSE inspector Glyn Davies Said “This has been an expensive lesson for both these businesses to learn; but employers should understand that serious breaches of health and safety law that put workers’ safety at risk are likely to result in similarly serious outcomes”.