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Once upon a time, there were few amenities at most airports: restrooms, a cafeteria, a gift shop, and a bar. Passengers did not spend as much time in terminals as they do today. But with heightened security, flight delays, and lengthy gaps between connections, airports are now a megamall of distractions: family, fast food, and high-end restaurants; shopping for everything from toys to expensive jewelry; and more bars.
Safety measures for airport maintenance and repair workers were also less comprehensive years ago. With expanded terminals, more jumbo jets, and increased awareness, however, there are many new and innovative fall protection systems available to protect aviation workers and meet contemporary standards.
Regular aircraft maintenance and repair operations are critical to safety in the aviation industry, from washing windows to inspecting engines. Whether servicing a helicopter or large plane, accessing all sections of large jet planes can present challenges to this important work.
Mobile aircraft maintenance platforms provide a ready solution. Built of sturdy stairs and flooring with safety railings—and set on heavy-duty casters—these work platforms give workers easy access to the aircraft while providing compliant fall protection.
The top of an aircraft can be challenging for personnel to access and perform tasks safely. An overhead rigid rail system is highly recommended, especially one easily installed in aircraft hangars. It tethers workers to a stable anchorage while enabling freedom of movement. In the event of a slip, the system stops a worker with only a short fall and eliminates the pendulum effect that can cause further damage or injury.
Servicing aircraft is only one aspect of fall protection in the aviation industry. Whether a massive hub or a regional airport, the terminal and service buildings will often require workers to access and perform maintenance and repair tasks on the roof. Fortunately, there are several effective means of rooftop fall protection.
For flat or low-sloped roofs, a perimeter roof guardrail system provides workers with the best overall safety measure. As a “collective” system, it protects several people at once without the need for special training or equipment.
Building and expanding airports is not just adding space to clear customs or shop for souvenirs. New airports often make an architectural statement. The designs can be stunning curved and sloped roofs that are not conducive to railings—or walking on the roof.
A specially designed roof walkway can be the ideal solution that enables workers to perform their tasks while remaining compatible with the aesthetics of the building. Not only should it provide an easy way for workers to traverse the rooftop, but it should also have “anti-slip” features and not damage the roof.
For greater all-around access, a horizontal lifeline system will attach securely to the roof and enable multiple workers to access a wide area with freedom of movement and optimum safety.
Next time you are stuck in an airport, take solace because there are many ways to pass the hours. But also note that despite the waiting times, there is careful attention to safety, and not just security, before you board your plane. Equipment and systems are available to service aircraft or the terminal so that safety in the aviation industry is top-flight.
Our platforms are OSHA/ANSI/CSA compliant and suitable for hard to access areas such as elevated machinery, shelved warehouse inventory, tall vehicles, construction, or any application requiring a protected elevated work surface with railing. Our full range of access platforms and work stands are offered as either permanent fixed structures or with wheels so they can be deployed where needed.