It is important to discuss a couple of issues that we are having around our respective systems. The first one is the safety of the aircraft. We have had several aircraft damaged this year due to various reasons. Some of them are procedural problems where certain steps were not followed and damage resulted. Some of them were problems where we were in a hurry, and we damaged aircraft during movement. The answer to most of these incidents is to follow the current maintenance manual reference, don’t rush the job and miss steps, and to make certain correct procedures have been followed before you move that aircraft or pull that switch. We are all on time constraints; however, if it is at the cost of damage, injury or your job, it is not worth the rush.
The next issue is workplace safety. We never want an OJI. They cost us time and injury, and it also has a cost to the company. Prevention and awareness are the answers because most injuries can be avoided. Some of the most common injuries that occur are the back and shoulders due to improper lifting. Make sure that you use proper lifting techniques, and if there is ever a question then ask for help. Remember that we are all getting older and more susceptible to injury, so protect yourself. Of course the majority of this is common sense, but worth a review. Wear your safety glasses when needed; if you are in doubt then wear them. Make sure you also have adequate ear protection available and use it when needed. Be aware and stay alert as to what is going on around you. If you hear someone call for power, hydraulics or flight controls, then make sure you are clear of anything that could harm you and let others in the area know also. Be aware that long hair and baggy clothing could get caught in moving parts. If you wear a badge lanyard, make sure that you have the kind that breaks away at the back of the neck; otherwise, if it gets caught it could hang you.
Floor cleanup is also very important. Clean spills ASAP – don’t assume it is a job for someone else. If someone slips and hurts themselves, this could have been easily prevented. The take-away is to clean your messes as you go. Going along in conjunction with cleanliness is to put away your tooling, stands, ladders and any other items when not in use. The clutter of these items could also cause an accident and putting these items away is a good habit to get into. Make sure you wear fall protection. It is not worth your life to save five minutes by not wearing it. I know we are better today at this, but I am sure we all remember seeing someone walking the crown of the aircraft without any protection. We have come a long way, but still need to be vigilant. I know it should not have to be said, but when working around live busses, make sure there is no power on that bus, or even better no power on aircraft. You would be surprised at the injuries we have seen because of this.
Finally, be aware and always use the AMM specific locks to keep your hands, legs, or head from being crushed by a spoiler or pinched by an aileron or even worse. Clean your areas, and don’t be in such a rush as to forget procedures, or leave tools behind. The life or limb you save might even be your own. Our goal is to service or repair the aircraft without damage or injury and this can be accomplished with the above ideas in mind. Be safe, work safe, stay safe.