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Qantas A380 access

Virgin Atlantic - Improved Maintenance Steps using Semmco

The issue

Turning an aircraft round between flights posses many challenges when it comes to aircraft engineering inspection and maintenance. Most tasks are at height, in all weathers and at any time of the day or night. The times these tasks have to be performed result in constraints as well as having to work around other service providers including caterers, baggage handlers etc. The aircraft itself presents many problems by its shape and the areas to which the engineering staff need to access.

Traditionally the industry has used one particular design of steps for the past 20 - 25 years for all tasks; they are very versatile and allow access in, under and around the aircraft engine and to the cargo hold, however, from a safety point the design is very poor. The employee can be working nearly 2.5 meters off the ground with little or no protection from falling and when accessing the cargo hold a large unprotected gap is left. Our Virgin Atlantic’s accident statistics showed that over a four-year period the following working at height lost time accidents (10 involved access steps) occurred and resulted in a total of 478 lost working days.

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