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Fall Protection for Aircraft Hangars

Overhead fall protection for aviation inspection, maintenance & repair

Whether in the hangar or on flight line, aviation technicians and mechanics often conduct their work well above the hangar floor and tarmac. Environmental conditions, hydraulic fluid, sloped fuselages, and narrow stabilizers can increase the risk of a fall when working on aircraft. Adding to the complexity of providing fall protection for aircraft are factors such as aircraft positioning, work on a variety of different aircraft, unique building structures and the need for limited work interruption during installation and usage. FLS' team of fall safety specialists and engineers take all of these factors and more into consideration when designing a fall protection solution.

Solutions for commercial, corporate, aircraft manufacturers and military bases often have different needs based on the level of maintenance and repair performed.  Compliance with both OSHA 190, AFOSH and ANSI Z359 is necessary to have a compliant fall protection solution.

FLS offers a wide range of compliant solutions to provide fall protection for aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary. Our turnkey approach, including site visits, design and engineering, fabrication, installation, testing, certification, and training are performed in accordance with our ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management program. This ensures that the work and products we provide are of the highest quality and we are continually working to improve our processes and the systems we deliver to our customers.

customer testimonial

It is said that the people make the company – FLS is a true testament to this. Their fall protection specialists are knowledgeable and experienced in their field and it shows in their work.

~ Frank (United Airlines)

Commercial Aviation

Commercial Aviation

FLS has long term relationships with most of the major commercial airline companies.  Most commercial aviation companies have long had fall protection.  They continue to grow and build new hangars, purchase new aircraft with different dimensions and evolve their maintenance schedules and aircraft positioning in the hangar.  Our work with commercial airlines is most often to improve, modify or reconfigure their existing fall protection to accommodate these frequently changing environments.

Military Aviation

Military Aviation

Protecting those who serve and protect our country is something we are very proud of at FLS. Massive military aircraft like the C-5 and C-17 require a unique approach. In most cases these depot level maintenance facilities perform a wide range of work from painting, major repairs and maintenance. Oftentimes this work requires many personnel to access the aircraft at one time. Solutions that include multiple rails, intersections and curved tracks offer a lot of benefits to these operations.

Corporate Aviation

Corporate Aviation

One of the bigger challenges we face in designing fall protection solutions for corporate aircraft is the aircraft are not very large and arresting a fall before the technician contacts the ground in a fall arrest situation can be difficult. FLS has developed systems and technologies that can arrests a fall in less that 2′, making the use of fall protection on a low wing aircraft such as a G5 or Falcon Jet must more feasible.

Aircraft Manufacturers

Aircraft Manufacturers

Fall protection for workers through the assembly process of an aircraft can be particularly challenging. In most cases, maintenance stands are used and provide a great method of access and fall protection for work around and under the aircraft but often do not protect the worker on top of the aircraft. Overhead cranes are very common and also create another obstacle for conventional overhead fall protection. FLS works closely with aircraft manufacturers to design and develop custom solutions that integrate with the manufacturing and assembly process without a loss in production.

Aircraft Overhead Fall Protection Hanger Demo

Aircraft Fall Protection OSHA Regulations and FAQs

ANCHORAGES:

1910.140(12) Anchors used to attach to personal fall protection equipment must be independent of any anchorage used to suspend employees or platforms on which employees work. Anchorages used to attach to personal fall protection equipment on mobile work platforms on powered industrial trucks must be attached to an overhead member of the platform, at a point located above and near the center of the platform.

PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION:

1910.140 Personal Fall Arrest Systems: The employer must ensure that each personal fall protection system used must comply with the requirements in this section:

  1. Limit the maximum arresting force on the employee to 1,800 pounds; 1910.140(d)(1)
  2. Bring the employee to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance the employee travels to 3.5 feet; 1910.140(d)(1)
  3. Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of the employee free falling a distance of 6 feet, or the free fall distance permitted by the system; and… 1910.140(d)(1)
  4. Sustain the employee within the system/strap configuration without making contact with the employee’s neck and chin area. 1910.140(d)(1)

REGULAR INSPECTIONS:

In the absence of a specific requirement for Inspection, OSHA Sec 5.a.1 becomes default: OSHA Sec 5.a.1 (a) Each employer – (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; 29 USC 654 (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act. (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

Following manufacturer’s requirements is considered a reasonable effort to satisfy this general rule and employee responsibility. Flexible Lifeline Systems follows the requirements set by the manufacturer of the components that are used to build your system. Additionally, ANSI Standards ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 Z.359.6-2016 9.2, while not codified as law, are considered to be “best practices” and often required by many companies – insurance, banking, etc., to provide coverage such as worker compensation or professional insurance, or to assess capital asset values. These standards speak directly to importance of regular inspection of fall protection systems.

What types of fall protection are used for aircraft maintenance?

Aircraft maintenance fall protection solutions include Overhead Rigid Rail & Track Systems, Overhead Bridge Systems, Cable-Based Lifeline Systems, Portable Systems, Maintenance Stands, as well as Custom Solutions when special circumstances arise.

Tell Us About Your Fall Hazard