Hazards in Air Transportation
Hazards in Air Transportation
Baggage handling related hazards
•Emission of Carbon Monoxide hazardous gas in aircraft refueling operations •Vehicle operations on airport aprons such as access vehicles to aircraft for catering operations •The application of computer technology and the accompanying use of video display terminals (VDTs) result to adverse health effects •Ergonomic related issues such as jobs requiring repetitive, forceful or prolonged exertions of the hands; frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects; and prolonged awkward postures. One good example of outcome of the prolonged awkward postures in aviation industry is most of the pilots experience musculoskeletal disorders due to long fly hours
•The hazardous noise which is emitted by the aircrafts will be a cause for resulting adverse hearing effects •When the aircrafts are taking off and landing, harmful dusts, smokes and gases will be emitted and those emitting can cause for hazardous effects •While transporting the dangerous goods, hazardous effects can be occurred if it’s not handled according to the required standards. •Inclement weather such as thunderstorms can be caused for occurring aircraft accidents and eventually it would be hazardous for passengers, aircraft and crew. •Aircraft high jacking and terrorist attacks to the aviation industry would be adverse hazards for passengers, aircraft and crew.
ii.Baggage handling related hazards
Employees who work in the baggage make-up room must move baggage from conveyors to carts and baggage containers for transport to the aircrafts. Conditions in the make-up room can be particularly stressful during peak times when baggage flow rates are at highest. The baggage make-up room injuries can be occurred when using the baggage sorting systems like single pier belts, sloped carousel belts or double deck pier belts. Potential hazards involve with these baggage handling can be elaborated as below, •Repetitively lifting baggage from the conveyor while assuming awkward body postures and extended reaches •Lifting heavy baggage
•Bending over and reaching farther for bags in order to work around curbs, railings, and bollards •Repetitively lifting heavy bags from high locations, such as the top belt of a double deck pier system •Repeatedly lifting baggage with little recovery time between exertions because belt speeds are set too fast when there is a high flow of bags Due to these hazards, employees may be experiencing physiological outcomes.
Emission of Carbon Monoxide hazardous gas in aircraft refueling operations
When the aircraft refueling operation is taking place, Carbon Monoxide which is one of the most hazardous gases will be emitting from the operation. Aircrafts are refueled by using fueling vehicles or relevant equipments. Therefore, the personnel who are engaging with this operation will be facing the adverse effects of Carbon Monoxide emitting since they spend a considerable amount of time sitting in idling fueling vehicles or equipments.
Once the employees inhale hazardous Carbon Monoxide for long times, they may feel headaches, vertigo, and flu-like effects due to its poisonous nature. Larger exposures of Carbon Monoxide can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart, and even death can be occurred. Chronic exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can lead to depression, confusion, and memory loss of the employees. Carbon monoxide mainly causes adverse effects in humans by combining with hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) in the blood. This obviously reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, leading to hypoxia. The hazardous noise which emit by the aircrafts will be a cause for adverse hearing effects
Aircraft landing and taking off are the chief sources of aviation noise. Aircraft noise can affect concentration and result in feelings of anger, frustration and stress in short term. These factors can thus adversely affect employee’s quality of life. The ground handling employees are the greater exposure to aircraft hazardous noise. With particular long-term noise exposure, hypertension or other cardiovascular effects, ischemic heart disease, annoyance can be associated to the employees.
02. Flight deck related health and safety issues
The major control unit of an aircraft is called as flight deck or Cockpit which is controlled by pilots from the taking off to landing of an aircraft. Therefore, lives of passengers and the aircraft crew are relying on pilot’s capability. Since the future circumstances of aviation industry can’t be perfectly predicted, if some incidence occurred, the pilots can be eliminated or mitigated the danger situation involve with the incident if he will be harnessed with right precautions. Therefore, flight deck safety concerns the minimum danger, risks and injuries inside the flight deck area. Furthermore the health at flight deck refers the mental and physical well-being of pilots. In a nut shell, the health and safety at flight deck is significant to be not to meet aircraft accidents which may cause adverse loss in terms of priceless lives and valuable properties.
The flight deck is harnessed with controlling equipments, monitors and indicators to be facilitated the safe flying function of an aircraft. Truly this area is covered up with complex technological pieces of equipments that can only be operated by well trained pilots. During the flight, the ventilation inside the flight deck can be adjusted as according to the requirements of pilots. The sound of radios, wind shattering sound, roar of engine and other indicator beeps are the only sources of noise that can be heard inside the flight deck. The modern aircrafts are complying with less noise inside the flight decks to be easily controlled. To be controlled the medium and large sized general passenger aircrafts it’s provided two or three seats for pilots. But they are not provided any space to walk or do body movements inside the flight deck.
Mental health issues and physical health issues are the two major categories of health related issues experience by pilots according to the researches carried by Civil Aviation Authority and the International Air Transportation Association. The major mental health issue which is affected to the pilots is stress experienced due to ergonomic problems, fatigue, crew errors, unexpected weather circumstances, scheduling and rostering, bereavement of spouse, etc. Since the nature of the pilot job is designed in that particular manner, all most all the pilots may feel the stress. To be eliminated the stress related effects, the airlines organize different training programmes to enhance the modifiers of pilots in a way that they can cope more stress.
The major reason for the physical health issues of pilots is the lack of body movements inside the cockpit and the ergonomic related issues. Normally they will have to operate the aircraft sitting in a still position for long hours. This will cause pilots to experience musculoskeletal disorders. Further they are using video display terminals (VDTs) in monitoring screens and indicators which may result to adverse vision effects sometimes later. Since inside the flight decks, less body movements are allowed to the pilots, they are gaining weight and getting oversized.
According to the research carried out by European Aviation Institution pilots after 8 years of operation are gaining more than ten kilograms. At the same time, this gaining weight and getting oversized will cause to high blood pressure and diabetes. To be eliminated such issues, the pilot license of a pilot is renewed periodically by undergoing various tests. To control such diseases, the regulations are enforced these pilots to stay in healthy condition continuously.
To be navigated the aircraft securely, safety of the pilots and the technological pieces of devices inside the flight deck are equal important since malfunctioning of one of the mentioned factor can cause for a massive damage. One of the precautions that have been taken to maintain the flight deck safety is supplying dedicated oxygen line to the cockpit avoiding pilots to lose the control of the aircraft due to hypoxia when the oxygen inside the cockpit is low. In every flight deck a fire extinguisher is placed to be used in an emergency and the pilots are trained for basic fire fighting techniques. Flight deck health and safety is a function of different perspectives such as technology, regulations, training, etc which is in form of continuous improvements to be eliminated the risks involved with aviation industry and enhance the safety engaging with the industry.
•Decent and landing accidents
There are five stages of the descent and landing process as descent, approach, landing, go-around or aborted landing, and taxi. When a problem occurs during any of the five steps, an accident could result.
•Taxi and takeoff accidents
One of the most important parts of a flight is the preflight and planning stages of the operation. This involves preflight inspections for safety, flight preparation, taxiing, and takeoff. Therefore, if something goes wrong with these steps, an aircraft accident can be occurred.
No machine is completely perfect. Aircrafts are complicated instruments that require the use of extensive electronics and technology. Therefore, unfortunately a single malfunction or failure can lead to catastrophic accidents.
•Pilot errors and negligence
When pilots are negligent or make errors while on the job, there is the potential for hundreds of lives to be died. Pilots receive extensive training designed to prepare them to handle a wide range of situations, but there are times when human mistakes are made. Therefore, pilot errors and negligence can be a cause for aircraft accidents.
Poor weather conditions such as thunderstorms, lightning’s, etc are beyond the control of pilots, airlines, and flight crew. Therefore, pilots must always comply with the weather advisories otherwise the lives of passengers and crew are at risk since the inclement weather factor is beyond the control.
Even though the air travel is one of the safest forms of transportation, aircraft accidents are taking place due to human errors/ factors, technical failures and environmental failures with dramatic and terrifying results. The causes of these aviation accidents vary greatly depending on specific circumstances and problems that may develop during the flight process. In decades ago, people used to think that the aviation accidents were occurred due to “bad luck”. But currently, it has been exposed that many incidents which were end as accidents can be completely avoided through careful preparation and effective safety techniques. When flight crew and pilots do their jobs precisely, aviation accidents are much less likely to occur.
One of the recent aircraft accidents that filled the hearts with grief was Air India accident at Mangalore. It was occurred 22nd May 2010 by killing 158 people after overshooting the runway. The crash was the worst accident involving the Boeing 737-800 throughout aviation history. Since this flight was accompanied by two captains, one of the major causes for the accident could be able to investigate as human factors. b)Accidents in the cargo office
Cargo office is the location where it handles all the cargo that must be transported via air by the airline. Loading, unloading, stacking, rapping, fumigating, etc activities are taking place in the cargo office. Since these operations are proceeding at the cargo office, there is a possibility of occurring accidents. These accidents can be caused due to human error/ factors, mechanical failures, nature of the goods that are being handled, etc. The personnel who are working at cargo office must pay special attention and care to the nature of goods that they are being handled. Since dangerous goods are also transported via air, paying attention about the cargo is a must factor. Otherwise it can be harmful for the workers who work at cargo office if this dangerous cargo is exposed to the working surface.
Due to the cargo office accidents, either it can be resulted cargo damages or personnel injuries.
c)Aircraft accident investigation
Aircraft accident investigation is finding out the root causes for aircraft accident once it happened. The core objective of aircraft accident investigation is to mitigate the potential aircraft accidents in future and streamline the aviation activities. Furthermore, this accident investigation is a fact finding mechanism and it’s obviously not finding the wrongdoer for the aircraft accident to be punished. ICAO annex 13 describes the accident and incident investigation according to the corresponding parties.
When aircraft accident is occurred, the state where the accident occurred, state of aircraft registry, state of aircraft operator, state of aircraft design and manufacture will be the parties who are responsible for investigating about the aircraft accident. Basically, the aircraft accident investigation involves, •Gathering all relevant data from voice recordings, position logs, reordered radar, air traffic services, etc relate to the aircraft accident and record them systematically. •Analyze the gathered data and finding relationships among different factors.
•Determination of root causes for aircraft accident.
•Completion of final report relate to the aircraft accident by mentioning all the information and conclusions.
04.i.Properly designed, organized and managed work helps to maintain and promote employee’s health and well-being. But if the attention for job design, work organization and management is insufficient, the benefits and assets associated with ‘good work’ could be lost and apart from the good work, work related stress is occurred. The fundamental cause for work related stress is exceeding the person’s capacity and capability to cope by the work demands. This work related stress cause for illness and disease and is linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other indicators of organizational underperformance including human errors.
•Excessive workloads that can’t be tolerated by the employee. •The employee has to work long hours but he/she will be paid less. (eg. Airline ground handling employees) •The rest breaks are inadequate.
•Lack of autonomy and the employee will not be participated for decision making.
•Poor ventilation in the work premises.
•The employee has been performing same piecework for long time. (eg. Employees in garment industry)
•The employee has to bear excessive noise.
• The employee is in uncertainty about the job security.
•The employee has to work prolonged awkward postures for long hours. (Ergonomic problems. Eg. Airline pilots)
• Career development paths in the work organization are lack of clear. The employee is not aware about his career development.
iii.If I would be an employee who’s affected by work related stress, simply I use three strategies to be managed the stress. Those three strategies are, •Reactive strategies
•Individual approach strategies
Once I experienced that I’m feeling stressed, the fundamental thing is finding the stressors for the stress and avoid those stressors from my life. For an instance, I might be stressed due to my colleague in the workplace. Therefore, after identifying that friend as the stressor, he should be avoided from my companion. Otherwise, I won’t be able to manage my stress. Further I can get support from my relatives and close friends to be managed my stress. I can tell my feelings to someone who can be trusted and enhance my modifiers to be coped with stress. Furthermore, I can be gone through a counseling session to be managed the stress under reactive strategies.
The major difference between reactive strategies and proactive strategies of managing stress is, in the reactive strategies, attempts are taken to manage the stress after experiencing the stress. But in proactive strategies it attempts to manage the stress even before feeling the stress. Actually this proactive strategy should be implemented by the employer by severely analyzing the work environment. By applying proactive strategies the employer can, •Form teams within the organization to be worked group wise •Establish proper communication channels within the organization •Convert the work area in to ergonomic problem free area
•Provide specific job tasks to individuals
•Get the ideas from the employees to be improved the system
•Time to time provide counseling sessions
•Implement visible career development paths for everyone
•Provide sufficient payments to employees, etc
Even though proactive strategies are applied successfully, some employees can’t be managed their stresses. The reason for this is they don’t have right mindset to manage the stress. Therefore individual approaches to manage the stresses are also important. To be managed the stress, individuals should be,
•Flipped the negative thinking mindset
•Tried to see the simplicity of work
•Identified the important and urgent work
•Managed the time
•Express the feelings, etc
In a nut shell, to be successfully managed the stress, all these three strategies must be implemented soundly.
•The dining and sleeping patterns of aircraft crew will be changed due to crossing multiple time zones in prolonged flying hours. Eventually the crew will be suffered. •In prolonged flying hours, aircraft crew may feel fatigue due to not having adequate sleep •The aircraft crew will be fatigued due to sitting or standing for long time and they may be experiencing musculoskeletal disorders. ii.
•Working in the same posture on prolonged office shift will lead to cause long-term backbone harm or musculoskeletal disorders. •In prolonged office shifts, since the work load is comparatively high, the employee will be feeling mentally and physically tiredness. •Since the employee’s work demand is beyond his capacity and capability to cope, he/she will be quickly getting angry with customers and colleagues at the work premises.
•The hazardous noise which is emitted by the aircrafts will be a cause for resulting adverse hearing effects to ground handling employees. •Further this heavy noise disrupts to the communication of ground handling employees. •When the aircrafts are taking off and landing, harmful dusts, smokes and gases will be emitted and those emitting can cause for hazardous effects to ground handling employees. •In day times, they might be easily get tired since they are exposed to the direct sun. •In nights, lack of lighting will cause for occurring accidents to the ground handling employees. •Vehicle operations on airport aprons such as access vehicles to aircraft for catering operations will cause for occurring accidents to the ground handling employees. •There’s a probability of occurring accidents to the ground handling employees due to careless handling of dangerous goods.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 September 2016
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