Aircraft Maintenance Technology

OCT 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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Page 34 of 63 35 their safety. Working at height is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. Business Implications In 2015 Swissport GB, a subsidiary of Swiss ground and cargo handling services provider Swissport, was fined over £500,000 following two incidents at Luton Airport, one of which breached Work at Height Regulations. The incident occurred when a team leader was climbing a ladder loading cargo onto an aircraft using a high-loader, when his foot slipped and he fell backwards to the ground suffering an impact injury to his right foot. The Luton court heard that Swissport had failed to ensure that work at height on high-loaders was properly planned, appropriately supervised, or carried out in a safe manner. More recently, Inflite Engineering Ltd. pleaded guilty and was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £5,000 following two working at height injuries at Stansted Airport. One employee of Inflite Engineering Services and a worker from a temporary agency suffered broken bones when working from mobile elevated work platforms whilst conducting service checks on the tail of an airplane. The HSE investigation found “that no suitable risk assessment was in place and there was a lack of effective monitoring.” Case in point that not only are there grave consequences for the worker when things go wrong, but inadequate equipment or lack of preparation for working at height activities can see serious repercussions for employers in the form of hefty legal fines and reputable damage. Employer Responsibility Whether working at height is a one-off task, or a part of an engineer’s day-to-day routine, a risk assessment must be carried out to identify any risks associated with the task so that suitable precautions can be implemented accordingly. In 2005, new Work at Height Regulations were introduced, placing new legal responsibilities on employers to ensure that equipment, such as ladders and platforms, used to facilitate working at any height minimised the risk of falling and offered sufficient protection to workers. Two years later, under the Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007, wherever a worker is required to work at height, the employer, manager, project supervisor, foreman, or any person who controls the work of others must ensure: • All work at height is properly planned and organised • Those involved in work at height are competent • The risks are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used • The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled • Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained

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