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Heathrow airport successfully defends airside employee health and safety claims

By a judgment handed down at Central London County Court on 10 February 2012 (Jones / Lucas v British Airways Limited (1) Heathrow Airport Limited (2)) Heathrow Airport Limited, represented by Laura Johnson, successfully defended claims by employees of British Airways that the paint used for ground markings on the airside aprons was unsuitable from a health and safety perspective. 


Both claimants worked on the stands during the turnaround of British Airways aircraft between arrival at the airport and taxiing to the runway for takeoff. 

Despite Heathrow Airport Limited using paint of an industry standard and utilised in airports throughout Europe, it was alleged that the stand markings were unacceptably slippery when either wet or contaminated by viscous substances and that they posed a danger to airside airport workers.  Evidence was called by leading experts on slip resistance testing.  Allegations were also made about the inspection and cleaning regimes at the airport.  Although the claimants succeeded for other reasons against their employer, British Airways, all allegations made against Heathrow Airport were rejected and claims against it by both the Claimants and British Airways were dismissed. 

Laura Johnson was instructed by John Palmer of DWF LLP. 


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