To emphasize that a safe system of work is required for all work at heights, including:
- Planned or scheduled work,
- Urgent or emergency work, and
- On any occasion when access to aircraft height is required.
Falls from height can cause permanent and debilitating injuries. The risk of serious injury or death from a fall increases significantly when working at heights of more than two meters. This safety bulletin is issued to remind maintenance staff and the supervisors, that working at heights requires adequate fall from height risk controls. Identifying hazards involves recognizing things that may cause injury or harm to the health of a person, such as where a person may fall from, through or into a place or thing such as:
- Wet and uneven surfaces
- Faulty equipment (harness, fall protection gears)
- Weather conditions
- Insufficient training
- Improper footwear used
- Structures (the stability of temporary or permanent structures)
- Edges (edge protection for open edges of floors, working platforms)
- The proximity of workers to unsafe areas
- Movement of plant or equipment (ensuring there is no sudden acceleration or deceleration)
Working at Heights Planning
It is best to avoid working at heights unless necessary. If the work requires working at heights, first determine if falls and accidents are preventable. If so, proper equipment (i.e. Mobile Elevated Work Platforms, scaffolds, ladders, PPE) should be used and inspected at all times. If falls and accidents are not preventable or at risk of occurring then safety harnesses and fall protection landing gear should be installed.
General Safety Tips
- Minimize fall distance and consequences by using the right type of equipment.
- Select quality PPE which is regularly inspected.
- Always use the rails and fall protection barriers.
- Be mindful of the fall distance. Never overload and overreach.
- Determine the best anchor point to support you.
- Select the correct gear when working at heights (scaffold, lift, ladder).
- Working platforms with suitable edge protection.
- Provide suitable edge protection or keep shut any openings in the aircraft fuselage (e.g. doors).
- Make sure that the access equipment used is stable.
- Maintain the access equipment.
- Train the people using the access equipment to use it in a safe and proper manner.
- Monitor the people undertaking the work to ensure that they follow procedures in a safe manner.
- Train team to be safety conscious and to recognize the hazards of falling and the use of fall protection equipment.
- Refresher training on the safe use of fall protection equipment for personnel working on aircraft and exposed to fall hazards should be conducted.
- Good housekeeping practices are paramount and should be enforced and implemented. All aircraft surfaces shall be Immediately cleaned when hydraulic fluids, oils or other fluids leak.