Aviation Maintenance and the Industry as a Whole
Asking the question “is aviation maintenance a dangerous career path?” may seem silly at first. The fact is, the framework of the aviation industry is built around safety. From the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight to supervisors and managers ensuring safe work environments with safe practices, the aviation industry emphasizes that safety is vital. With passenger travel and air cargo logistics being a necessary part of everyday life, it is imperative that the entire aviation industry implements and practices safe guidelines and procedures.
There’s no doubt that the aviation industry features potential hazards, and maintenance positions are frequently in the presence of such hazards. However, those positions’ purpose is to ensure safety, and practices and protocols are in place to limit risk.
So, it’s not to say that aviation maintenance is inherently a dangerous career path. Sure, there are dangers present, as with any job based around moving parts, power tools, and large structures. Any aircraft mechanic— or any mechanic, really— will tell you that awareness is key in these types of environments.
The work of an aviation maintenance technician is crucial to the transportation industry. Passenger travel would not happen without qualified people routinely inspecting, repairing, and maintaining aircraft. While working as an aircraft technician can be dangerous, that does not mean it necessarily will be.
Workplace Hazards in Aviation Maintenance
Every workplace is different, meaning there may be specific hazards found in one maintenance facility but not another. For example, a major airline hangar may have chemicals not used in a general aviation hangar. You get the idea.
With propellers spinning and turbine engines buzzing, accidents can happen if maintenance technicians are not careful. However, aviation companies and maintenance operators have safety regulations to abide by – ensuring team members’ protection, creating a safe work environment, and ultimately preparing for safe takeoffs and landings. Guidelines and routine procedures are in place for a reason, and each employee must follow them to keep themselves and others safe, no matter the workplace.
Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Wearing protective gear is just as important as following safety regulations and procedures. For example, an aviation technician could be working with specific hazardous lubricants or paints on the job – and while they might be using them properly, it can be dangerous without wearing the correct PPE.
Wearing the right kinds of PPE is important, too. Just because an employee is wearing a mask does not mean that the mask has the correct filter to mitigate airborne hazards. Proper protective gear should always be worn whenever and wherever possible in the workplace.
Complacency is Not Key
As many of National Aviation Academy’s instructors tell students: “always keep your head on a swivel.” The phrase, meaning always to pay attention, is common in the aviation industry.
This is where the “danger” aspect becomes a bit broader. Paying attention and always having situational awareness of surroundings is vital as a mechanic for personal safety reasons. However, becoming complacent and neglecting to check manuals or cutting corners on a repair or maintenance job is dangerous for others.
Aviation maintenance technicians keep our skies safe. They are the ones who ultimately do the work that allows aircraft to fly safely. However, the guidelines and procedures put forth by the Federal Aviation Administration allow aircraft mechanic to do their jobs properly, ensuring the safety of passengers and cargo alike!
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