A firm has been fined £160,000 after a “loving dad” was crushed to death at Heathrow Airport. 

The man, who has not been named, was working at Terminal 3 when the tragedy took place on February 23, 2022. 

Dnata Ltd, which provides ground handling and cargo services to major airlines, admitted breaches of health and safety regulations. 

His grieving wife said: “The future plans I had with my husband are ruined. After retirement, we were both going to go on religious pilgrimages and also holidays together, go on experiences together, enjoy the time with our children together. Now I face the rest of my life without my best friend and companion.” 

The man took a set of trailers to the tarmac ready to collect baggage containers being unloaded from a plane from Dubai. 

As he moved the trailers under a scissor lift known as a high-loader, the operator lowered one of its platforms, crushing the man. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the man positioned the trailer where he did because of defects. 

Another employee had reported defects on the trailer two weeks before the incident and it should have been removed from service, the HSE said. 

The defects were not entered into the company’s maintenance system and it was available for use on the night of the incident without having been repaired. 

Additionally, the high-loader operators’ rear visibility was almost completely obscured. 

The high-loader had no sensors to detect if people were underneath raised platforms before they were lowered and there was also no communication system in place, so operators could be told when it was safe for them to lower platforms. 

HSE inspector Gordon Carson said: “Although Dnata had identified a risk of employees being crushed by the platforms of high-loaders, the measures it had put in place before this incident occurred failed to ensure that work in close proximity to these machines could be carried out safely. 

“Numerous hazards exist during airport ground handling activities and companies providing these services should ensure their activities comply with UK health and safety legislation.” 

Dnata was £160,000 and ordered to pay £6,494.25 in costs at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 17. 

The man’s wife said: “My husband absolutely loved work. He called his work colleagues his second family. He used to be so excited to go into work. He used to love making tea for everyone during tea breaks and used to buy tea bags and take them into work especially for that reason.” 

His children added: “He was the rock of our whole family. He was such a happy, positive, funny, loving, supportive dad. He had an infectious personality and was loved by many in his community. 

“His presence is greatly missed at family gatherings and events. They are no longer the same. He was a legend. 

“We can no longer go to an airport without being reminded that this was a place where our father died. 

“Each of us has had to have counselling to help us to come to terms with and process what has happened, and we were each off work for a long period of time. However, it cannot heal the pain that we feel.” 

A spokesperson for Dnata said: “We deeply regret the tragic incident that happened at London Heathrow on 23 February in 2022, resulting in the loss of one of our valued employees while on duty. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends.

"Our company acknowledged its role in the incident at the earliest opportunity. Since the incident, we have closely collaborated with the authorities in their investigations and undertaken a comprehensive review of our safety protocols.

"We are seeking to change the recognised international ground handling safety standards to incorporate our learnings to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again.

“The safety of our employees and our customers and their passengers remains our utmost priority. We are dedicated to continually enhancing our training and processes to ensure the highest possible level of safety across all of our operations.”