THE DANGERS OF OPEN PANELS, DOORS, AND HATCHES
Flight attendants and servicing personnel have been injured on airplanes prior to departure by falling through an open E/E bay main deck access panel opening on 747, 767, and 777 airplanes (there is no such access panel on the 737, the 757, or on McDonnell Douglas products). The panel is removed from the passenger cabin floor and set aside while the opening is left unprotected by the mechanic.
On DC/MD-10/MD-11 airplanes with a lower galley, the lower galley floor hatch, as well as the center accessory compartment panel, can pose a danger if left open and unguarded.
Open, unprotected passenger entry doors on all models present another hazard. Many times during servicing of airplanes between flights, passenger entry doors are left open to allow access by caterers and servicing personnel. The danger occurs when a catering vehicle or air stairs move away from the opening while the door is still open. Also, doors are left open in hot weather to cool the aircraft interior. In this situation, there is nothing to stop someone onboard the airplane from falling to the ground through the open door.
|This hinged, self-closing E/E bay main deck access panel is used during 777 production. Note that the panel is connected to a red light, which flashes any time the access panel is open.|