|Open doors, access panels, and hatches on parked airplanes can be potential safety hazards for airline personnel unaware of the opening. Flight attendants and servicing staff have suffered injuries as a result of falls through these openings. Investigations of these accidents by Boeing indicate that they are preventable by proper and consistent use of barriers and following airline policies and procedures.|
|ACCIDENTS CAN BE PREVENTED BY PROPER AND CONSISTENT USE OF BARRIERS.||by William L. Rankin, Ph.D., Boeing Technical Fellow,
Maintenance Human Factors, and
William R. Carlyon, Program Management Specialist,
Environment, Health and Safety
Prior to pushback, flight attendants and servicing staff have suffered injuries by falling through unprotected airplane doors on all models and through internal access panels on 747, 767, 777, DC/MD-10, and MD-11 airplanes. On the 747, 767, and 777 models, this internal access panel is known as the electrical/electronics (E/E) bay main deck access panel. On the DC/MD-10 and MD-11 models, this internal access panel, located about mid-cabin, is known as the lower galley floor hatch or the center accessory compartment access door. Injuries can also result from tripping on open floor panels, hatches, and doors. This article explains these situations, recommends ways to guard against these injuries, describes equipment that Boeing has made available to operators to address these issues, and discusses the role of airline policies and procedures in helping to prevent falls.