Aircraft hanger safety involves a wide range of issues depending on the work that is being accomplished on the aircraft parked in the hanger. Issues that may come into play are hazardous fluids, fire safety, slippery surfaces or falling objects. Aircraft maintenance professionals are required to be trained in a wide range of safety issues. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards provide the necessary guidance to work safely in a dangerous environment.
Aircraft maintenance involves a long list of fluids that are hazardous to human life. Fluids include aircraft fuel, hydraulic fluid, liquid oxygen and cleaning solutions. Exposure comes through spills, inhaling vapors in improperly vented fuel tanks and skin contact with corrosive cleaning chemicals. OSHA standards address specific actions workers must take to reduce the risks to exposure related to hazardous materials. Another safety issue that directly relates to the difficulties of dealing with hazardous materials is personal protective equipment. Personal protective equipment includes respirators, protective clothing, and emergency breathing apparatuses. The OSHA standards provides guidance for the personal protective equipment that must be worn in each circumstance.
A major safety issue for people working in a hanger is high voltage electricity and powerful electrical equipment. OSHA safety standards specify detailed procedures to protect yourself from unprotected exposure to wiring and components that carry high voltage electricity and current flow. Safety standards also provide procedures for workers who are required to handle and operate powerful electrical motors and equipment that cause components to move quickly . Another important personal safety issue is working and walking surfaces. Workers always need safe surfaces in order to keep from slipping and falling. OSHA safety standards for working and walking surfaces provide guidance to employers and supervisors so hazards are not overlooked.
The most catastrophic safety issue in a hanger is an uncontrolled fire. There are many ways that a fire could be ignited during aircraft maintenance. Any flammable liquid being employed by maintenance personnel can catch on fire, causing death or serious physical damage. The OSHA standards for fire safety will help you identify situations which pose a potential threat for a fire starting. Closely related to fire safety are standards related to emergency egress. Emergency egress simply means the provisions that an aircraft and hanger have for workers to escape safely in case of a fire or other disaster. The OSHA standards for emergency egress mandate measures that must be provided to ensure that every worker gets out of harm's way safely.
Read More: Workplace Safety Requirements
Kenneth Oster's leadership experience includes an Air Force career, pastoral leadership, and business ownership in the automotive repair industry. He has a MBA from Western Governors University, and is working toward a DBA degree from Northcentral University. Oster authored the book, "The Complete Guide to Preserving Meat, Fish and Game: Step-by-Step Instructions to Freezing, Canning, Curing and Smoking."