Swissport fined over WA safety breach

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Airport services company Swissport has been fined after a baggage handler suffered serious head injuries when he fell from a moving vehicle at Perth Airport.

Swissport pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court this week to causing serious injury to a worker by failing to provide a safe workplace.

The company was fined $110,000 and ordered to pay $8000 in costs, WorkSafe WA said on Friday.

Virgin Australia has also been charged over the 2018 incident but has pleaded not guilty and will go to trial next month.

The worker had been unloading baggage from a Virgin aircraft before jumping aboard a tug being driven by a colleague.

After a short distance, the driver turned and the worker fell onto the tarmac, hitting his head on the ground.

The vehicle was not fitted with a passenger seatbelt, WorkSafe said.

The worker suffered serious head injuries and required urgent surgery as well as follow-up operations due to complications.

WA's WorkSafe commissioner Darren Kavanagh said the case should serve as a warning to undertake thorough risk assessments.

"With the re-commencement of air transport services now in full swing, work health and safety is particularly crucial," he said.

Swissport said the worker had made a full recovery and resumed full duties.

"Following this incident, and the completion of an internal investigation, several corrective actions have been taken to prevent such an incident occurring again," an official said.

"Swissport is dedicated to preventing injuries and incidents through the continuous improvement of our systems and processes."

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