Ground-Services Vendor at BWI Marshall Airport Cited for Safety ViolationsSeptember 18, 2019
Menzies Aviation is a ground-services vendor that provides passenger, ramp, and cargo handling services for every airline at Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport. Recently, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) agency conducted a safety inspection at the airport to determine whether there were any violations that put employees at risk for workplace accidents and injuries. They discovered several serious safety violations that jeopardized the safety for those who worked for Menzies Aviation. After the investigation was complete, MOSH issued $5,400 in fines to Menzies Aviation for serious safety violations.
One of the safety violations Menzies was cited for was requiring workers to access the passenger tunnels between the gate and the airplane without the appropriate safety protection. In addition, the workers were not properly trained on how to prevent falls of up to 24 feet. According to a Labor Department deputy commissioner, employees were allowed access to the top of jet bridges that were approximately 25 feet above a concrete ground. They had no fall protection when traveling from the platform to the anchor point, which is approximately three feet. Employees working in bag tunnels were not provided with hard hats, even though there were beams, pipes, and ceilings as low as 46 inches from the floor.
The proposed penalty for permitting employees to work from the top of jet bridges without any fall protection was a $3,150 fine. MOSH proposed a $2,250 fine for failing to provide hard hats or other safety gear for employees working in tunnels. Menzies was given until July 19 to address those issues. In addition, they were cited for not having a fire extinguisher on one truck and a nameplate was missing on another truck. MOSH also instructed Menzies to train its employees on specific fall hazards in their work areas.
While $5,400 may not sound like a steep fine for a large corporation, it is significant because the average citation for a workplace fatality is approximately $4,000. According to a senior project coordinator for the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, serious citations are issued to those that are likely to cause serious injury or death. Falls are one of the top causes of workplace fatalities.
Menzies Aviation has been cooperating with MOSH, and will submit the required documentation, including photographs and receipts. They will have an opportunity to object to MOSH’s findings before the final citations and penalties are issued.
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If you were injured on the job due to unsafe work conditions, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.