My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver)
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Agricultural Aviation

Agricultural Aviation | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

Ron is a loader driver / ground crew for Aerial Agriculture company Aerowork. Aerowork specialize in many forms of aerial work but mainly in the spreading of fertilisers onto the New Zealand farm lands. The work is challenging with respect to safety as the environment the operators are driving or flying in is constantly changing with respect to weather, other vehicles and ground conditions.

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

Ron has performed this sort of work for much of his life and truly enjoys the challenges the industry provides. While the pilots and other aircrew take care of safety issues with respect to flying the aircraft, Ron is part of the loading and refuelling of both aircraft and ground vehicles.

 

The loading of the product into the aircraft is usually performed in restricted locations with large machinery which produce a lot of dust and noise. The reloading takes place in just seconds thanks to the assistance of highly sophisticated loaders and the skill of the operators. Fatigue can be an issue on long days particularly when the loader driver has to return to the base with the loader that night (while the pilot fly's home).  

 

The refuelling of the aircraft with the engine running is permitted by the relevant authority and in order to reduce the number of start cycles of the turbine engines is therefore performed as normal operations. Ron makes no excuses for 'taking his time' while performing this task 'as moving the fuel hose from tank to tank with that propeller spinning pretty close could be unforgiving'.

 

The company has recently undertaken two full days of specific OH & S training for all employees demonstrating the commitment to the safety of the employees

 

 

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Health and Fatigue

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

As with many aspects of the aviation industry, the timing of agricultural aviation operations is often critical. As such, pilots and ground crew regularly have very early starts in order to get to the job location and make best use of the calm morning conditions.

Often, a pilot and loader driver will move to two or three locations in a day and the work can be draining with a high level of concentration required at all times. Sometimes the loader driver must then return the loader back to a base at the end of a long days work. Fatigue among both the pilots and the ground crew can be a serious issue.

 While this Health and Fatigue document is a little old, it is a good start for a basic understanding of how to identify fatigue and some strategies to reduce and deal with it. It has also been produced by the New Zealand government and as such it's actually local to the company Ron works for.

Fatigue can be a very unforgiving hazard at any time, but it is certainly a very high concern in the aviation industry and pilots and drivers must work within specified work time restrictions and must also keep logbooks of their hours of work and rest.

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Workplace Eye Protection-PPE - Safety Video

Eye Protection Employee Training Video www.Pursuecompliance.com Introduction: According to Prevent Blindness America, 1000 eye injuries occur each day. Of t...
Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

This video is a pretty graphic demonstration of the seriousness and unfortunately the regularity of eye injuries.

For Ron, it also highlights the importance of having the right eye protection (and other PPE) for the job. PPE in general and eye protection in particular is very task specific. Outside of the cabin or the cockpit, the risks for eye injuries from stones or other foreign objects are very real. While in the cabin of a loader or the cockpit of the aircraft, eye protection from the sun becomes important over longer periods.

One thing is for sure, this video also highlights the importance of our eyes in our day to day lives, and as such the importance of looking after our eyes. 

 

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Radio Control Model Aircaft

Radio Control Model Aircaft | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

Murry is a mechanical engineer in the HVAC industry who has a passion for building and flying model aircraft.

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

Murry has been building and flying model aircraft since he was a child and these days is a very skilled pilot of radio controlled aircraft. As such, he is also very aware of the dangers and treats the operation of his models very seriously. 'It comes down to just doing a few little things extra, to improve your safety a lot', said Murry as he restrains the tail of the model to a post in the ground, and follows a specific sequence to safety activate this aircraft.

 

Some larger clubs for model aircraft require members to obtain licences and follow strict operating procedures to ensure safety at model aerodromes. Again, it often comes down to little details like restraining aircraft in pit areas, shutting down well away from pits areas and not flying over spectator areas and car parks etc. Following the simple rules reduces the chances of injury or property damage from an accident.

 

The main dangers generally come from the small but very powerful engines spinning very sharp propellers and as such there is a high risk of injury to hands. Until recently most radio control models were powered with small internal combustion engines and as such there are risks associated with fuels and other chemicals. Keeping aircraft within airfield boundaries reduces the risk of aircraft causing damage due to loss of control and with further advancements in technology, there is now a whole new danger associated with new batteries.

 

As with any form of aviation, model aviation can bite very hard when things go wrong and as such keeping a high level of safety and awareness when operating any aircraft is desired.

 

 

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Refrigeration Mechanic

Refrigeration Mechanic | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

Stephen is a refrigeration mechanic and commissioning technician for medium sized, Brisbane based air conditioning company Airtech HVAC. The company specializes in the installation and commissioning of commercial air conditioning systems.

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

As the majority of the work carried out by refrigeration technicians is onsite, they mainly fall under the similar rules and regulations as for general construction sites.

 

Refrigeration technicians must abide by regulations relating to electrical, air conditioning and plumbing as well as the OHS issues of these trades.

 

 Before starting work on building sites, tradesman usually undertake a site specific induction provided by the relevant building contractor and must provide a signed 'Safe Work Method Statement' for the works.

 

Workplace hazards at building sites include working at heights (or on ladders), electrical hazards, noise and poor air quality and the usual construction type issues. Additional considerations for refrigeration technicians would include the use and handling of the different refrigerant chemicals associated with direct expansion air conditioning systems. Refrigeration technicians use oxygen and acetylene gas torches to weld copper pipework and as such the risk of burns is ever present, both from hot pipes or freezing cold refrigerant. This sort of work would usually require a hot works permit and the safe work method statement would contain Material Safety Data Sheets for all substances used.

 

As with all building sites, refrigeration mechanics use various forms of Personal Protection Equipment as a last layer of protection against workplace injuries. These range from constant use of steel capped boots and high visibility clothing, to the use of safety glasses, shields and gloves etc for specific tasks. Vehicles are also equipped with first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

 

 

 

 

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Administration

Administration | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

Elissa is an administration officer for medium sized, Brisbane based mechanical services contractor, Airtech HVAC. The company specialises in the installation and commissioning of commercial air conditioning systems.

 

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

Elissa is responsible for the creation of the site specific 'Safe Work Method Statements' which Airtech HVAC must provide prior to any workers starting the onsite works of any project. These documents have to be relevant to the works to be performed and must reference the current laws,  regulations and safe work practices. This document is reviewed by the building contractor and then signed by site personal before starting any works. These documents will include such items as risk assessments, material safety data sheets and first aid procedures.

 

For an office worker however, workplace risks are not non existent. While we may joke about paper cuts and the occasional nasty staple, long periods at a desk can create poor posture and neck / back pain. An office buildings air conditioning system must be properly maintained to provide healthy air quality and many people suffer headaches and vision issues from working with computer screens all day.

 

 

 

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Safety Videos - 10 Commandments of Workplace Safety

Safety videos and free safety videos to download from www.safetyvideoshop.com.au. This safety video is called "The 10 Commandments of Workplace Safety" - it ...
Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

It does not get much simpler than this straight forward approach to workplace safety. 10 Commandments that will help protect everyone from workplace injury. Every one of them can fairly easily be associated with Ron's day to day workplace safety.

Aviation can be a high risk environment at the best of times but agricultural aviation with the low flying, weather, ground conditions and ever changing environment can be very challenging.

A couple of examples of these 10 commandments for Ron would be that Agricultural aviation relies on teamwork and as such that 'everyone is responsible for their own safety, and the safety of others'. Ron must not only be thinking of his own safety and his loader, but also the pilot, other drivers delivering product and the clients or other spectators if present during operations.

Adhering to all company (and also government) rules and regulations is essential in all forms of aviation. It not only gives everyone the best chance of ensuring the safety of all, but also provides the best chance of defence in avoiding any legal ramifications should an accident occur.

The importance of training is particularly high for all forms of aviation but in terms of basic safety, 'if your not properly trained in the task, don't do it' is very relevant to Ron and his day to day operations.

As the name would suggest, following these basic 10 commandments will help provide a safer workplace for everyone. 

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Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

The Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace, 'Code of Good Practice' document is very though document aimed at management level to establish what is good and acceptable practice for addressing chemical hazard risks in the workplace.

 It defines what constitutes hazardous chemicals, deals with Material Safety Data Sheets, assessing and controlling risks, monitoring and review and emergency preparedness procedures. While operations staff would not be referring to this sort of document on a daily basis, management level needs to ensure that the relevant aspects and procedures are covered during staff training.

In agricultural aviation, not only are ground crew like Ron working with chemicals associated with running the aircraft and loaders such as fuel and oils, but they are also working with the fertilisers, sprays and any other products they are spreading. All staff need to be familiar with the handling procedures for all of these chemicals and products as well as knowing any safety procedures should an incident occur.

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Hearing Protection and the Noise Reduction Rating

Unprotected, prolonged exposure to excessive noise, can cause irreparable hearing damage. It is vital, therefore, that everyone in your facility take appropr...
Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

Aircraft and machinery are noisy and can damage the human bodies hearing system. Working around aircraft, the loaders and delivery trucks in the ground support role, Ron must look after his hearing (particularly as his hearing is already no longer perfect).

 This video shows some of the hearing protection equipment available and the way that it is measured in terms the amount of protection it will provide.

One issue for Ron in terms of his role as the loader driver (and in aviation in general) is that while we want to block out the extreme noise of aircraft and machinery engines, he also needs to be able to use radio equipment in order to communicate with others. This means that the hearing protection that you may use on a building site for instance, is not always appropriate for use in aviation. Good quality aviation headsets which reduce the dangerous outside noise while still provide the ability to listen and transmit on the radio is essential (and unfortunately often very expensive). 

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Gliding

Gliding | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

David is the Chief Flying Instructor for the Caboolture Gliding Club. The club operates out of Caboolture Airfield on Brisbane's north side most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They have single and two seat gliders and offer both air experience flights for the general public as well as pilot training for members. 

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

In the role of Chief Flying Instructor, David must ensure that the entire training panel is providing a suitable level of pilot training for members, which of course includes some OHS considerations. All members are required to assist with the operation of the gliders, tug and retrieve vehicles and must be aware of the dangers of the machinery and the aerodrome environment.

 

As with any aerodrome, the environment during gliding operations is constantly changing. A high level of situational awareness is crucial to maintaining safe operations. OHS considerations on a daily basis not only include the operation of powered and non-powered aircraft, but also those associated with driving around the airfield, weather, wildlife, and manual labour. Special care is particularly required when working around the tug plane, handling the tow rope and connecting the rope to a glider before flight. Again, it often comes down to little things like using the correct equipment with the rope and being taught to not get your fingers stuck in the aileron while running the wing during take off.

 

Public safety is also a consideration as the club does undertake air experience flights for members of the public. The club duty crews work hard to ensure the safety of guests as people and you always need to be looking out for the dangers as sometimes, people with no experience at an airfield are simply not aware of them.

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Building Industry

Building Industry | My OHS Peers - Agricultural Aviation (Loader Driver) | Scoop.it

Colin is a carpenter by trade and has been working in the building industry all his life.

Nicholas Sheahon's insight:

The modern construction industry has a very large focus on OHS mainly due to the fact that over the years it has been a large contributor of deaths and injuries in the workplace. These days builders and other site personal are required to be properly trained and use safe work methods on construction sites. They are required to work to guidelines that they have signed off on themselves.

 

The dangers on construction sites are numerous and include working at heights and confined spaces, working with hand and power tools, electrical dangers, handling and storage of chemicals 

 

On a day to day basis following the basic safety steps outlined in the construction industry general safety induction, reduces the chances of workplace accidents. The guidelines regarding the use of ladders, personal protection equipment and electrical dangers are particularly relevant to new construction personal as these are some of the greatest dangers and easiest ways to reduce or eliminate them.

 

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