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DESIGNERS FINED OVER AIRPORT CROSSING RISK

Rare prosecution under CDM 2007 designer regulation

London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) and design contractor C-T Aviation Solutions Ltd (C-TAS) have been ordered to pay a total of £372,595 in fines and prosecution costs following the death of an elderly passenger struck by a 26 tonne milk lorry on a “poorly sited” pedestrian crossing.

Mary Whiting, aged 78, from Norfolk, was crushed beneath the wheels of a 26 tonne milk lorry as she used a crossing between a terminal building and a passenger drop-off zone at the airport on 16 May 2009. The returning holidaymaker believed the delivery vehicle was stationery, but it pulled away and struck her as she crossed the approach road.

Luton Crown Court heard during a six-week trial (15 April – 31 May) that LLAOL was responsible for maintaining the roads, parking enforcement and signage at the airport, including the land in question.

The crossing formed part of a wider building project and it was opened in March 2009. It was “badly positioned” and did not conform to regulations that apply to public roads.

Design did not meet the required standards

London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL), of Luton, was fined a total of £75,000 and ordered to pay £197,595 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Sections 3(1) and 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Design subcontractor C-T Aviation Solutions Limited, of Glentham Road, Barnes, London was fined £70,000 with £30,000 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 11 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which requires the designer, inter alia, to avoid foreseeable risks to the health and safety of any person using a structure designed as a workplace.

 After sentencing, HSE Inspector Graham Tompkins said:

“London Luton Airport Operations Limited failed to take the proper steps to ensure the safety of vehicles and their passengers at the airport.

Although the judge ruled that the design of the road was not a significant cause Mary Whiting’s death, it did create a serious risk and the sentence imposed reflects the gravity of the offence.”

In 2010 the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident was found not guilty of causing death by careless driving.

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