In aviation maintenance safety is the number one concern. Safety emphasis is to protect the aviation maintenance technicians from an accident from injuries by massive objects, heights, or moving parts. Health safety protections from over-exposure to toxins & hazardous substances that are commonly used in aviation maintenance applications.
Working title: Aviation Maintenance: Health, Safety, and Culture
Health and safety in aviation maintenance begin with the maintenance facilities. The aviation maintenance technicians are instructed throughout the tech school or college they have attended that safety is of paramount concern, to protect themselves, others, and the work that they perform. The aircraft maintenance facilities are regulated in their safety provisions to the workforce they employ. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) holds the maintenance facilities' hands in regulated provisions for physical and chemical safety hazards. Examples of these workforce safety protection regulations include protective eyewear, chemically resistant gloves, filtered vapor respiration devices, hearing protection plugs, hardened toe shoes, and fall protection devices, including the wearable safety harnesses.
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The aviation maintenance facility is required to supply the aircraft technicians with safety protection equipment and provide a culture of health and safety in the organization. Both of these components exist for the successful completion of servicing aircraft. This reflection of safety concerns can be as simple as a supervisor or manager reminding the aviation maintenance workforce to keep their attention on being safe and wearing the provided protective equipment and looking out for abnormal or dangerous situations. For example, just a simple remark to a maintenance technician that is degreasing fuel tank panels, that having an active ventilation fan directed at their work area will provide adequate airflow from the solvents they may be using. Or an active monitoring presence when a technician climbs into an empty fuel tank to perform specific maintenance or inspections. In aviation maintenance, it is not only about caring for the safety of yourself, but also of looking out for other people in your working area and the protection of the aircraft under maintenance.
Positive safety culture is unitedness that can help the workforce learn and understand from being employed within a positively minded organization — a walkthrough of the hazardous chemicals and the responsibilities of working with them. Notification of the toxicity of chemicals openly and branded containers with the chemical diamond hazard labels as well as access to current Safety Data Sheets (MSDS/SDS) for the information of chemicals, their exposure limits, and recommended protections (Owens, 2014). The positive safety culture is also one that allows the workforce to communicate concerns about safety without retaliation. Many times aviation maintenance workers could hide concerns if the employer shows retaliatory actions to communicated concerns of safety, and the hazards will not reach a point of correction. However, instead, they will linger and could cause harm to others. The positive safety culture will enable workers to perform more safely in high-risk aviation maintenance facilities.
In high-risk aviation maintenance facilities, the aircraft maintenance technicians, production, and quality can be endangered by improper health and safety concerns. The maintenance facilities are responsible for providing organization to the facility and promoting a responsible culture of flexibility, concern, and learning. The culture of the maintenance organization needs to be flexible to changing health and safety requirements, the concerns and safety of their active workforce, and to provide a stable platform for the rolls of work, communication, and health and safety to burgeon and flourish (Karanikas, 2018).
Health and safety should always maintain a positive, proactive approach. Communication leads the way on forward-thinking, and the positive organizational culture provides the ability for the workforce to communicate and learn from experience and concerns safely. A flexible organization will be able to adapt to changing requirements and the needs of the workforce. The aircraft maintenance facility will experience fewer mishaps by maintaining the positive cultural aspects of their actions. A healthy workforce under less stress will work more efficiently and correctly (Karanikas, 2018). This can all be obtained with the concerns of health and safety regularly promoted within the organizational goals and active work culture.
The ongoing health and safety culture of aviation maintenance facilities will start at the top of the organization. The directive goals, culture, and behaviors of the facility will permeate throughout the organization with regular and general enlightenment of the workforce and the managerial employees. Health and safety have been indoctrinated into the aviation maintenance technicians, and maintenance facility concerns and behaviors should further train the like-minded safety principles into everyday actions.
Fear of punishment for concerned communication should be mitigated by the resultant reactions following by understanding and monitoring the situation or alleviating the risks with appropriate developments.
Aviation mechanics experience various levels of exposure to risk in the field of aviation maintenance. Environmental and chemical exposures for aviation mechanics who work outside are commonly viewed as unavoidable or lessened with the action of worn protective gear, facility maintenance, or limited activity under certain conditions. It is the responsibility of the maintenance facility to provide adequate safety gear and protective actions to improve safety and limit the health concerns of the maintenance workforce (Hobbs, 2011).
Aviation maintenance firmly connects to the culture of safety. The field of AM is a fast-paced organizational model that is regulated and managed to produce repeatable results. Should the slightest mistake or complication occur on an aircraft flying at altitude, the relevancy of human factors appears to investigate, analyze, and risk management. A more significant error may result in catastrophic potential. Aviation is a low probability high consequence venture. The aerospace administration, airline corporations, and aircraft maintenance facilities do their very best to reduce the occurrence of accidents and issues during operations. The first sight and focus of aviation is perpetually the safety and security of the aircraft and its performance. The safety and health of the operators and maintenance professionals should also be a primary goal of these regulatory agencies and corporations. Aircraft maintenance facilities engage in disassembly, restoration, and reconstruction of aircraft; even the provision of safety equipment and warnings to protect the professionals is a natural concern. The overarching health and safety of maintenance professionals are just an applicable standard quality subject to the organizational culture of each facility with dire consequences for the maintenance specialists exposed to indifference.
The corporate culture is one in which health and safety concerns are of interest — safety practice is the active part of the official culture. Organizational health and safety considerations are the respective and systematic suggestions, conflicts, and interpretations of work and protection, which guide exercises to avoid hazards, risks, and accidents. The safety culture is the flow of views, standards, and practices inside an organization; safety culture introduces people both in and outside of the association to conditions viewed as perilous and acceptable. The typical safety culture guides the authoritative framework to continual opposition against dangerous circumstances.
Aviation maintenance technicians use solvents that are for degreasing and cleaning mechanical gear — acetone-based solvent is an example. Solvents rapidly and dramatically abate oil and grease, which require removal before the material inspection. While necessary for the task, those similar properties additionally enable degreasing agents to move through human skin just as rapidly.
Moreover, many solvents tend to evaporate quickly, which means they change from a liquid form into a gas quickly. The scent of a solvent in the air means that particles of that chemical are now in the lungs. Solvents in water also emulsify and mix into the local environment as a contaminant. Regardless of how toxification occurs, for instance, through breathing in vapor, or drinking contaminated water, or through the skin, solvent toxicity dives deep into the person rapidly. Externally, aviation solvents and hydraulic fluids may create burns on the skin. Internally, just below the skin, they are capable of causing central nervous system responses, for instance, pain or tingling sensations. Aviation chemicals effectively destroy the external protections of the skin from contact exposure and cause a vulnerability that allows other synthetic compounds to penetrate more easily. Notwithstanding, that beneath the skin is an intricate system of blood capillaries that introduce absorbed particles throughout the body. Without consideration, these various toxins travel into the body and rapidly influence internal organs.
Aviation maintenance involves and presents maintenance professionals to dozens of chemicals and fluids during standardized procedures; these chemicals and substances identify their carcinogenic undertones and toxicity. Aircraft fluids, fuels, paints, and maintenance solvents have extraordinary properties; however, the toxicity and hazardous nature of these products and structures produce clear evidence of harm when introduced to organic systems. Internal organs that are subjected to these substances apart from the skin also include the bodily organs and are known for causing long-term hazard potential following exposure concerning abnormalities and cancers.
Successful checks shield employees from environmental hazards. Provide employees with a stocked medical supply box with applicative substances that mend injuries and combat exposures. Limit or reduce safety and health hazards by fortifying working conditions with safety equipment. Procedures should act to enable workers to protect themselves from dangerous situations and hazards common to the workplace. Supervisory management should work to mitigate situations in AM by providing maintenance professionals with guidance.
Control and reduction of risk start by communicating health and safety concerns with mechanics on how to control contact and susceptibility to hazards. Dangers and mitigation efforts should be a part of the entry-level training curriculum. Determine which processes will involve safety health and safety concerns and controls. For instance, work performed above the ground on lift equipment or on top of the aircraft itself should mandate safety harness and fall protection equipment.
Create plans regarding spill situations with measures to ensure laborers act appropriately to control circumstances during the event of substance or chemical spill. Evaluate the performance and responses of trained employees with supervision and reminding hazardous situations concerning safety.
Consider the effectiveness of existing controls to decide if they provide warranted protection, or whether various supplements might be more viable. OSHA norms and direction, industry accord guidelines, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) organizations, provide documents and design reports to distinguish potential control measures. Keep current on essential data from exchange or expert affiliations (OSHA, 2020).
Check controls secured in different working environments and decide if they would be successful in the maintenance facility. If necessary, allay contributions from laborers who might have the option to propose and assess arrangements from their insight into the working circumstances.
Always select safety hardware, apparatus, and materials that are characteristically more secure dependent as determined by testing and reliability statistics. Putting workers at risk by selecting the cheaper options that have a higher risk rating is inappropriate for aviation maintenance. It not only puts working professionals at risk but also endangers the maintenance organization safety record.
Develop an equitable risk control plan determining how necessary safety devices are used. The risk control plan should address legitimate hazards initially and develop an accurate fulfillment of control standards. Prepare for the utilization of these safety devices and equipment, and in circumstances that they are activated, prevent the reuse of them without a detailed inspection, incident write-up, and device replacement. It is imperative to follow the progress toward finishing the control plan and intermittently, when conditions, procedures, or safety equipment changes confirm that controls stay viable. It will be necessary to train and grant authorization for individuals regarding the proper use of any equipment as a preemptive procedure before allowing the unmoderated use of it.
Management of health and safety in the aviation maintenance field will include risk analysis as a foundation of actionable prevention and protection tactics to improve the safety and health of the workforce. Knowledge of a hazard and its prevention methods are comparable to avoiding them. Risk analysis may include, but is not limited by the following steps:
- List the outcomes of risks
- Determine the consequences of risks
- Calculate the risk probability
- Determine risk mitigation strategies
Risks of an aviation maintenance facility may be limited in their opportunity, as hazards may be recurrent and easy to alleviate with protections for the workforce to reduce suffering the consequences. The measurement of probability of risks should include the frequency, time, and the level of harm. Risk mitigation strategies should include the costs and locations of necessary preventative measures. It should be a concern of the facility to consider the proof concept of productivity losses, costs, and harmful results of non-mitigation.
Inspection and maintenance of safety equipment should be performed regularly by appointing quality control individuals with the documentation for the date, time, and detailed inspection reports (Ashbrook, 2014). Up-to-date MSDS/SDS labels for chemicals, chemical rooms, chemically resistant gloves, regular monitoring of technician safety behaviors, and communication training.
Develop a plan to check the viability of controls after they are introduced or actualized. Select controls to ensure worker safety during nonroutine tasks and crises. The risk control plan ought to incorporate arrangements to ensure the safety of the workers during nonroutine activities and unpredictable crises. Crises and concerns could occur in the working environment, such as fires and discharges, substance expulsions, dangerous material spills, unplanned equipment shutdowns, rare upkeep exercises, regular and weather emergencies, psychological militant or criminal assaults, illness contagions, and health-related crises. Nonroutine errands, or undertakings that workers don't regularly do ought to be presented with specific alerts. Before starting such work, investigate work hazards and occupational health research with specialists and offer the active workforce information of working health and family insurance.
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Create methods to control dangers that may emerge during nonroutine tasks, scratches, dents, and bumps to an aircraft surface are unsuitable. Create plans to control dangers that may emerge in crisis circumstances. Secure any hardware expected to encounter crisis or risks. Train specific duties regarding crises. Run practice drills on safety procedures to guarantee that strategies for a crisis are understood and prepare workers with training before the use of safety gear to give satisfactory assurance during emergency circumstances.
Immediately execute any estimates that are simple and economical like general housekeeping, clearing the working areas of stumbling dangers, for illustration, electrical cords and providing essential work lighting and disregard concerning the level of risk for these simple preventative procedures. Follow up and affirm that safety measures are working as intended. To guarantee that control measures are still and remain compelling. Managers should follow the progress in actualizing control actions, they should be involved to assess and evaluate controls once introduced and follow routine preventive upkeep rehearsals.
Direct customary examinations and mechanical cleanliness checking, sporadically uphold that building safety controls are working as planned. Assess control measures to decide whether they are viable or should be changed. Include the employee base in the assessment of the controls, ask them how things are functioning. On the off chance that controls are not robust or recognize, reevaluate the process and implement additional control devices that will give sufficient safety. Affirm that work performance, supervisory control, and personal protective equipment is used. Lead routine preventive upkeep of gear, working areas, and equipment to help prevent incidents because of hardware failure.
Aviation maintenance facilities must build up a positive learning culture for health and safety protection. Leadership and training cannot take care of all the safety concerns. Nevertheless, the positive learning culture in the organization is critical for performance. Communication should be comparative with all employees to understand the organizational health and safety functions, strategies, and practices. Meanwhile, the employees may satisfy their jobs and duties inside a system of safety.
For the general health and safety framework, a positive hierarchical culture must be present and flexible all through the workplace. Decreasing aviation accidents and lowering organizational health and safety hazards is a significant movement that requires adaptive knowledge and dynamic effort. The overall goal of aviation maintenance is to successfully fulfill customers’ needs and aircraft regulatory procedures to return aircraft to flightworthy condition.
Maintenance safety should be founded on positive communication, and this begins as an initial step towards adept performance to reduce or eliminate erroneous behaviors and hazards that put health and safety at risk. The function of an active health and safety program within a flexible, positive movement is a method of thinking forwardly to prevent accidents before they can occur, it is an action-based adjustment of perception instead of the traditional reactionary movement.
This research considers aviation maintenance health and safety in down to earth terms and assesses the basics of health and safety upon the organizational culture. Aviation maintenance facilities will reap the significant benefits of ensuring their entire workforce is not regularly exposed to haphazard with production increases and reduction of accidental damages both to aircraft and personnel (Karanikas, 2018). The dominance of an infused health and safety-conscious culture within aviation maintenance facilities is beneficial for the corporation on the whole. Maintenance worker turnover and accident rates will be mitigated significantly, and the overall health and wellbeing of the floor personnel will shine in the reflected goals set by the organization. Not only is the culture of aviation maintenance facilities critical, but the implemented functional safeguards will reduce confusion and distraction from the primary goal of returning serviceable aircraft to the flight lines.
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