Wednesday 21 February 2018

Dublin Airport security guard loses back injury case

Tim Healy

AN airport security guard has lost a legal action in which she alleged an unsafe system of work led to her injuring her back when she tried to move an excessively heavy carry-on bag going through the x-ray conveyor belt.

Deirdre Moore's employers, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), could not have reasonably foreseen that someone would have suffered the back injury she complained of, Mr Justice Iarfhalith O'Neill said when he dismissed her High Court case against the authority.

Ms Moore (39), a married mother of two from Somerton, Donabate, Dublin, claimed the DAA was negligent by failing to provide her with a safe system of work and with adequate training before the incident on March 31, 2009.

She also claimed the DAA failed to heed or act on previous complaints about excessively heavy bags being brought by passengers through the security screening area.

The claims were denied.

Ms Moore said she continues to suffer back pain as a result of the injury which occurred when she tried to move a bag which turned out to contain engine parts being carried by a passenger on his way to Poland.

While the bag met the dimension requirements for carry-on luggage, it was a heavier than a normal carry on which is supposed to be not more than 10kg, the court heard.

Today, Mr Justice O'Neill said he was satisfied she was adequately trained.  He said Ms Moore did not see the passenger lifting the bag on a table and then on to a conveyor roller which would have indicated to her it was heavy.

Evidence from experts on both sides had said however that  bag which was even two or three times heavier than a 10kg bag, once it was on the conveyor rollers, very little effort was required to move it, he said.  Any additional force required to move it along was of such a low nature that it was unlikely to give rise to a foreseeable injury, he said.

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