Piedmont Airlines Gets fined by OSHA for death of employee in Engine ingestion accident.

SWAMECH

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Apr 26, 2005
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Prayers and thoughts go out to the family and friends of employee involved.

I am having a hard time with the fine against Piedmont Airlines. AS stated in article and admitted by the company they had 2 safety meetings PRIOR to the arrival of this aircraft. Noting that no employees are to go near engines while still running and beacon still flashing, as stated below which I grabbed from the article:

"The penalty comes after an NTSB preliminary report released in January was favorable to the airline. It said the ground crew at the airport held two safety briefings immediately before the plane arrived at the gate.

Employees were told they should not approach the plane until the engine was shut off and a beacon light was turned off, according to the NTSB report."

Sounds to me that the company did the right things and also sounds as that an employee did not follow proper Protocall and procedures. Also stated they had 2 safety meetings prior to flight where I am sure they were told to wait for engine shut down before approaching A/C. What more is the company suppose to do?
There is not enough company employees to have them stop an employee, grab and employee or even tackle an employee so they don't get ingested into a running engine. As we all in aviation are well, well aware of the safety boundaries of any and all running engines even when idling.

Sounds to me like this fine came out after a complaint about a favorable article said the company had the safety meetings and had proceedures for not approaching around running engines. We never get the full story either so wondering the late fine afterwards.

Here's the full article below:

 
It's possible that the fine is aimed at whatever culture Piedmont is fostering. Are employees pressured to prioritize "on-time" over safety? Every company says they put employee/customer safety above all else. The reality is often a different one.
 
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Agree with your point on pressure. Sure, we all have experienced it many times in this aviation world we live in.
Just found the timing a bit odd. It will be interesting to see what comes next, usually we all see the lawsuit filed right after the OSHA fine on co. as it seems to be the trigger from time to time of a sort of blame on the co side of things. However, if 1 and/or more other employee(s) can testify that they did in fact have those 2 safety meetings and were verbally told not to approach until engines are done spooling down and the beacon light is off, pretty sure the co. would prevail. But as we all also know co's tend to settle in some of these cases so not to bring any more anxiety onto the family. We'll see what comes next.
 
The reasoning for the fine (the airline didn't provide a safe workplace) are bullshit. Jetblast and ingestion hazards have been around for 70+ years.
 
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Agree!! And I still think this was a total after thought, after getting complaints that the co was first praised for doing the safety meetings prior to arrival. Pretty sad how companies fold to the utter bull **** of media pressure now a days. Hello BL, AB Target, and others companies over complete stupid ****...
 
Not mentioned in the article, but during the 15 day period to pay the fine, the company can contest the fine.

The reality is they won't, because it'll cost more in legal time and filings than the actual fine, so my guess is they just suck it up.

Fighting this would also open them up to possible retribution. If you look hard enough in any workspace, you'll find a technical OSHA violation. No need to give them any incentive by calling their bluff.
 
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I understand what you are saying E, but I don't agree with the caving just because it'll be cheaper. That is as wrong as, using as example only, a co settling a law suit just because it'll cost more to fight it, then so be it, after you win file a suit on them for the cost of the suit and the new suit to get reimbursed for all cost in frivolous lawsuits. Sure it cost money, part of doing bus and would stop or at least slow down all the frivolous lawsuits people just file in hopes of settlement.
 

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