Due to the advanced technology and innovative engineering systems present in the airports, traveling by air is one of the safest ways for tourists nowadays. However, the health and safety of the airport workers are a different subject as it entails different conditions and health and safety risks. An airport worker should be well-prepared, just like an employee who works above the ground level has to take a professional training course for their safety. Luckily, a lot of training centers offer WHS courses, one of which is the Working at Heights course provided by AlertForce.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes sure that no airport worker is recruited without proper training for their and others’ safety. Nevertheless, the most common hazards airport workers face, and their countermeasures, are mentioned in this article. Read below!
Hazards on the Airport and Their Health and Safety Measures
Airport workers usually have to get prior authorization from the airport operator in order to get on the maneuvering areas of the tarmac, as they possess several health and safety hazards.
On the flight line, you will see a lot of airplanes taxiing or being towed. Although you may think they are quite far away from you, you never know when the wings might hit you.
Moreover, it’s not easy for planes to quickly stop when they are already on the move. Therefore, airport workers need to have an understanding of the markings on the apron and the signals given to the planes.
They should never walk in front of a moving aircraft and if it’s quite urgent to cross the airport tarmac, you should wait for it to move away from you. Wearing high-visibility clothing also eliminates the risk of being injured by a moving vehicle or aircraft to some extent.
Sounds above 85 decibels are thought to be quite harmful to the human ears. The jet engines of aircraft can produce up to 120 decibels of noise. Although measures have been taken to manufacture low-noise aircraft engines, the airport authorities provide workers with hearing protection to prevent ear damage. Even with the ear protection, airport workers should spend limited time close to the moving aircraft.
Moreover, due to loud engine noise, you never know when another aircraft or vehicle is approaching. Hence, it’s important to look around carefully at all times.
Aircraft Engines and Propellers
Another common health and safety risk for airport workers is the running engines and propellers of the aircraft. They produce a lot of suction as well as heat, and this can drag you in if you are close to a running engine.
That’s why you should stay away from running engines and, in case you need to get close to the aircraft, it’s better to avoid approaching the front or rear.
The tarmac can be a bit slippery due to several reasons, such as weather conditions or oil leakage, and this can make the airport workers trip and fall. Therefore, it’s vital to wear suitable footwear and always walk with caution.
In addition to this, some areas of the tarmac can be poorly-lit, so it can be harder for airport workers to assess how far the aircraft’s wings are. Again, being cautious can keep you safe and sound.