Maya Pogoda, a spokeswoman for Menzies Aviation, said the company instituted its seat-belt policy in January 2013. “Menzies seat-belt policy is quite simple,” she said. “Anytime a Menzies employee leaves the gate area, he or she is required to wear their seat belt.”
Photo credit: Menzies Aviation
The baggage tractor driver at Los Angeles International Airport who died in a February airfield accident was not wearing a seat belt, a violation of company policy and federal guidelines, a representative for his employer said.
The death of Menzies Aviation employee Cesar Valenzuela on Feb. 21 highlights a problem that airport workers know well. Driving a baggage tractor can be a hazardous job, made even more dangerous when workers — who are often in a rush — neglect to wear seat belts.
Cal-OSHA is investigating Valenzuela’s death — a spokesman said the report is not yet complete — but an early statement from the airport indicated he lost control on an airport service road. There were no other vehicles involved. At the time, a Coroner’s Department spokesman suggested Valenzuela, 51, may have then fallen out of the tug.
There have been other recent tug accidents at LAX, according to results from a California Public Records Act request.