According to the statistics, one of the most dangerous places at the airport are the airport ramps. These are busy and confined spaces where employees are expected to move about quickly and efficiently on such ground support equipment as aircraft belt loaders. No matter what the weather is, you will always find them at work when the aircraft is on the ground.
At airports, the employees, the airlines, the companies and the airport facility tend to be focused on one particular aspect. This tends to be the schedule. It is important that the planes land, unload, refuel, be cleaned, be reloaded and take off on time. If a single cog in the operation is upset, take-off time can be delayed. Yet, this approach tends to ignore the very real problem of safety.
Aircraft Belt Loaders: Potential Hazards
The ramp is a critical part of the entire operation of most if not all ground support equipment (GSE). Among these diverse pieces of equipment are found aircraft belt loaders. They load cargo and luggage onto the aircraft. It needs to be squared up exactly against the aircraft in order to fulfill its task without any incidents occurring. If it is placed in the wrong spot, or is not snug against the aircraft, this will leave a gap in which anything can happen – including an employee being pinned between the aircraft belt loader conveyor and the aircraft fuselage.
This is but one potential hazard. There are others. They may result in accidents between GSE and airplanes or pedestrians. Among the concerns for those handling such pieces of equipment are:
* Dangers resulting from leaving the aircraft belt loaders both running and unattended
* Possible collision with other GSE equipment including tugs
* Potential risk of striking other employees or pedestrians on the tarmac and near the ramp
* Becoming entangled in the aircraft belt loader conveyor through mishap
* Being trapped between the airplane’s fuselage and the loader
These are all potential risks that, according to research, tend to intensify when the employees are hired hands and not airport or airline employees.
Aircraft Belt Loaders: Safety Solutions
There are several means of reducing the instances of so-called “Ramp Rash.” The top three requirements are the most important. They are:
1. Training in the proper handling of aircraft belt loaders
2. Intensive safety training on the handling of the belt loaders
3. Training on ramp etiquette and safety including following proper posted operating speeds
By putting these three aspects into play, it will be possible to reduce the risk of accidents and mishaps occurring. It is one way that will help to ensure that the employees who handle aircraft belt loaders will be safe while on the job.
Mercury GSE was created in 1988. Since then, they have provided excellent Ground Support Equipment for sale, rental and leasing. Their quality services are worldwide and include the provision of everything from Aircraft Belt Loaders to aircraft tow tractors. To learn how they can best serve you, visit online at Mercurygse.com.
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