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It’s no holiday: Keeping Airside Staff Safe

It’s no holiday: Keeping Airside Staff Safe

The sheer scale and complexity of running a modern airport is matched only by the huge challenge of ensuring the safety of airside workers. Amid the buzz of excited travellers are the thousands of people who work airside to ensure that everything runs smoothly but where hazards are ever-present.

The plethora of subcontractors now operating simultaneously on site – ground handling and maintenance companies, cleaning and catering contractors to name but a few (all with different time pressures and ways of organising work) – presents major challenges for airport safety and health professionals.

Airside health and safety challenges

Airside staff – ramp agents, aircraft marshallers, baggage and cargo handlers, refuellers, de-icers, push back crew, toilet servicing, maintenance and repair personnel, cleaners and caterers – work in what can be a very hazardous environment and under great pressure to turn around aircraft and get them back in the air. From the moment an aircraft arrives at its gate until it departs again, a complex series of tasks must be performed by a large number of workers, who are exposed to a wide variety of hazards and risks while they work.

Around 40% of air transport workers told a European Working Conditions Survey that they believed their health or safety was at risk because of their work; the main problems reported being occupational stress, overall fatigue, backaches, and hearing problems. According to the European Agency for Safety and Health (EU OSHA), the general safety and health hazards in air transport are:

  • ergonomic – working in awkward position, heavy loads, confined spaces
  • organisational – stress, shift work, night work, working to tight deadlines (turnaround)
  • physical – adverse weather condition, exposure to sun, lightning, working outside, noise, vibration
  • dangerous substances – exposure to de-icing chemicals, jet fuel and exhaust, substances used for maintenance, cleaning agents, biological agents (faeces and sewage)
  • a complex work situation
  • accidents – falls from height, slips, trips and falls, electrocution, vehicle accidents, hit by falling or moving objects, fires and explosion, inappropriate or defective equipment, inadequate lighting

Solutions to keeping airside workers safe

The huge range of airside hazards that require a solution to keep air transportation workers safe makes the life of the airport and outsourced service suppliers’ health and safety professionals equally challenging. Making life less challenging can be achieved by working with a single supplier of airside safety solutions. Look for a safety solutions supplier that offers everything you need:

Contego Safety Solutions has been supplying quality protective equipment and clothing to discerning customers since 1995, offering a wide range of recognised branded items, alongside its own Contego Aviation Solutions range of superior safety products.

For help and advice, or details of the full Contego Aviation Solutions range download the Catalogue now, visit our website or contact our friendly team on 0800 122 3323 or