Among the top hazards of working on aircraft are shape, height, rotating parts, dangerous tools, presence around dangerous chemicals and finally, “complacency”. We can’t attack all of those, but at SAS, we certainly have the Top 2 dangers (irregular shape of aircraft and height off the ground) in mind when we design and build every stand and work platform used by mechanics in ground service operations. By designing right, we remove some of the dangers in this hazardous field and protect those who work in an industry that can be as exciting and fun as other parts of aviation.
Here are the problems and how we tackle them:
- The Irregular Shape of the Aircraft
Hazard: Due to the non-linear shape of aircraft, it is not easy to provide completely safe access to the aircraft. The rounded shape of some parts of a plane can create gaps between the working platform (suspended work platforms, scaffoldings, steps, etc.) and the aircraft body.
To resolve that: We create safety sliders with non-slip surfaces. These sliders are metal collars that extend to the curve of the plane, fitting tightly, eliminating those gaps. They are locked into place, providing a safe way for mechanics to step onto the curved surface of the aircraft.
- The Height of the Aircraft.
Hazard: No one wants to fall 25 feet or more from the top of an aircraft. Even lessor falls – 8 feet for example, can create broken bones and debilitating injuries. But falls aren’t the only hazard for those working in line maintenance jobs. There are also risks to crew on the ground from potentially falling objects, like a wrench dropped from above. These hazards are accentuated because the height of aircraft often makes it hard to see people on the ground.
To resolve that: We create stands with surrounded work “cages” or “pens”, preventing a crewman from falling from the plane. This protection gives mechanics much more confidence than working from a tether. It also gives them more range to do the job safely. SAS stands also include “fence guards” that prevent a dropped tool or part from falling from the aircraft.
Unlike “Wiley Coyote” or “Mr. Magoo”, a falling bolt dropped on your head doesn’t spawn a great idea. It only creates an injury we want to avoid.