Airline Fined For 3 OH&S Violations After Worker Dies On Tarmac

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An airline has received a fine for three separate health and safety citations after a baggage handler working on the ground at the Charlotte Douglas Internation Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina was killed.

Kendrick Hudson, 24-years-old was killed on the tarmac after the tug he was driving hit a piece of luggage and flipped, according to reports. “Police said that Kendrick Hudson, 24, was transporting baggage on an airport vehicle called a tug when he made a hard right turn to avoid hitting luggage that had fallen on the tarmac, but the tug hit it and rolled over, landing on him,” writes local media.

“Following his death, Hudson’s coworkers started pushing for better lighting outside of Concourse E. They shared concerns about that area, which they call ‘Death Valley’, with both the Charlotte City Council and members of Congress.”

Addressing the media, Hudson’s father, Leon, said that “he was still in the first quarter of his life… he had so much stuff he wanted to do.”

The airline Mr Hudson was working for, Piedmont Airlines, a regional subsidiary of American Airlines has received three separate violations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an investigation. The OS&H found that there was a failure on the part of Piedmont Airlines’ employees to wear seatbelts, a failure to re-evaluate tug operations every three years, and a failure to inspect the tugs at the end of each shift.

Piedmont Airlines was forced to pay $20,000 for the violations, however, a class action suit launched on behalf of the family is expected to hit Piedmont’s owner, American Airlines.

Lawyers working on the part of Kendrick Hudson’s family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines and the City of Charlotte, with one of the attorneys, Ben Crump adding that “you have to protect your workers. You have to have a safe working environment.”

The airport has addressed some of the criticism regarding the lighting on the tarmac at the airport, confirming that it will install more lighting fixtures for ground staff operating at the Charlotte Douglas airport.

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