Settlement reached in Delta bag handlers death

Due to the recent settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health administration, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has agreed to install seat belts on airport vehicles after the death of a baggage tug vehicle driver who was ejected from the vehicle in August 2010.

Employees of Delta were notified that many of the vehicles do not have seatbelts, and that it averages 14 ejections per year. About half of these result in “serious employee injury.” Two Delta employees were involved in fatal incidents after being ejected from vehicles in 2010.

In the case, Delta was accused of violating a federal regulation that requires employers to provide employees with personal protective equipment. Delta has agreed to pay an $8,500 penalty and install seat belts in vehicles that do not have them per the settlement. They will also be training their employees to use the seat belts, as well as enforcing the requirement.

The settlement will cover 16,000 Delta employees, 6,000 baggage handling vehicles, and operations in 90 Delta airports.

Hazard alert letters have been sent to airlines across the country by OSHA to remind them of the seat belt requirement.

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