A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety alert issued to ground crews following two incidents, one of them fatal, serves as a good reminder for all workers to slow down and be aware of their surroundings.
The FAA alert was issued after:
- a ground crew worker was seriously injured when they didn’t wait for a plane that was being towed across the tarmac to stop moving before performing a task, and
- another worker was killed when they were sucked into an engine while rushing in to open the door of a plane that had just landed and was being towed while its engines were still operational.
While the agency found that neither of these incidents were indications of systemic issues, they were both severe enough that a safety reminder was warranted, the alert states.
- installation of chocks whenever an aircraft towing operation has been stopped
- all personnel to remain clear of aircraft in tow until it has come to a complete stop
- activities commence only after chocks are installed, and
- all personnel to remain clear of operating engines until they’re shut down.
These four items are very specific safety procedures for airport ground crews, but the gist of the message is, “Follow procedures, don’t rush, and pay attention to your surroundings.”
Those are good suggestions for workers in any industry when it comes to safety.