Workplace Safety for Aircraft Surface Finishers

Introduction:

The Aircraft Surface Finisher course is designed to recognise the prior learning of Automotive Spray Painters and train them to the level required by the RAAF for Aircraft Surface Finishers.

As part of this course, Aircraft Spray Painters are required to complete the Workplace Safety for Aircraft Surface Finishers online learning module.  Upon completion of this module, Aircraft Surface Finisher trainees will be competent to work safely, and identify and correctly action hazards encountered in the aircraft surface finishing environment.  

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module learners will be able to: 

Assessment: 

There will be questions throughout this module that the learner must complete in order to successfully complete this module.  

Topic 1: Understanding Hazard and Risk

Hazard versus Risk

Hazard

The term hazard is defined as 'a source or situation with the potential to cause harm, such as injury, illness or property damage'.

Risk

When looking at work health and safety, the word risk is defined as 'the likelihood and consequences of a hazard causing injury, illness or property damage'.  For example, while a shark swimming in the ocean is a hazard, it only becomes a risk when you get in the water with it.

To identify hazards and minimise the risks associated with hazards, a system known as risk management has been developed.

Risk management is a systematic approach to:

  • Identifying hazards
  • Assessing the risks associated with those hazards, and
  • Controlling those risks.

Knowledge Checkpoint

 is defined as the likelihood and consequences of a hazard causing injury, illness or property damage while is defined as a source or situation with the potential to cause harm, such as injury, illness or property damage.

Your experience with Hazard and Risk

Cite an example of a Hazard and Risk that you may have encountered in a previous workplace or at your home. 

Spot the Hazard

The bench grinder and workplace above have a number of health and safety hazards.  List down at least 5 hazards that you see. 

Topic 2: Recognise Potential Hazards within the Aircraft Surface Finishing Environment

Effect of Hazards and Risk

Effects of Hazards and Risk

Hazards and risks that are not eliminated or controlled have the potential to cause an accident.  

An accident is an unplanned and uncontrolled event in which the action or reactions of an object, substance, or person results in personal injury, damage to equipment, or interrupts production.  In order to avoid accidents or mishaps at work it is important to be aware of the most common hazards that you may encounter when working within the Aircraft Surface Finishing environment.

Knowledge Checkpoint

is an unplanned and uncontrolled event in which the action or reactions of an object, substance or person results in personal injury, damage to equipment or interrupts products

Fire Hazard

Fire Hazard

Fire hazards in aircraft surface finishing workshops are extremely high due to the various paints, solvents and thinners used during operations.

 

Most common Fire Hazards within the Aircraft Surface Finishing Environment:

  • Spontaneous combustion 
  • Static Electricity 
  • Open containers 
  • Smoking 
  • Paint Contaminated floors
  • Steel tools 
  • Incompatible materials
  • Inadequate ventilation

Fire Hazards Activity

Knowledge Checkpoint: Match the cause or risk to the correct fire hazard.
  • Sponatneous Combustion
    Waste materials (eg. Rags contaminated with linseed oil or soaked in chemical conversion coating) that are allowed to dry out are subject self-ignition without an outside source of heat
  • Static Electricity
    Caused by belt driven electric apparatus, airless spray painting, plastic media blasting or decanting flammable liquids can create a serious fire and explosion hazard
  • Open containers
    may contain flammable liquids or emit vapours and may drift undetected into offices or annexes where they could come in contact with sources of ignition, causing a flash back to the source namely the exposed container of flammable liquid
  • Smoking
    this hazard may contain fine particles of flammable materials and vapour in suspension in the air during spray painting operations, an explosive atmosphere is created if a source of ignition is introduced into the area
  • Paint Contaminated Floors
    it is quite possible for a spark to be generated accidentally by a steel nail in a boot or shoe causing a flash back which may cause a fire or explosion hazard

Fire Prevention Activity

  • Practice Good Housekeeping
  • Smoke in work areas
  • Store materials in open containers
  • Ensure the spray booth has proper ventilation
  • Ensure electrical fitments are approved
Identify which of the following precautions should be observed to prevent fire hazards.

Fire Prevention

The following precautions should be observed to prevent fire hazards in the workplace:

  • Good Housekeeping
  • No smoking in Workshop areas
  • Use only approved electrical fitments.  Electrical fittings in paint shops must be of the flash proof variety
  • Spray application of paint material shall be carried out in efficiently ventilated spray booths.  Where spraying cannot be done in a spray booth, it shall be carried out in the open and with a surrounding isolation of at least 5 metres (15 ft). 
  • Brush painting workshops must be ventilated
  • Paint materials etc. will be stored in sealed containers in a well ventilated, fire proof cupboard or locker with vents opening onto an outside wall.
  • Do not allow waste thinner, paints and solvents to accumulate.
  • When painting inside aircraft it is good practice to ensure the operator has at least a Dry Chemical Powder extinguisher readily available.
  • Ensure an adequate number of the correct type of fire extinguishers are installed in the workshop and kept in good working order.

Chemical Hazard

What are hazardous chemicals?

Hazardous chemicals are substances, mixtures and materials that can cause acute or long-term detrimental health effects.  Hazardous chemicals must only be used in accordance with approved technical publications or the manufacturer’s instructions.   Each product must also have an approved risk assessment carried out.

Most common Hazardous Chemicals used in the Aircraft Surface Finishing Environment

  • MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) – This is a highly flammable solvent used primarily for cleaning prior to painting and bonding. It may also be used for cleaning if surfaces become contaminated with leaking oils and/or hydraulic fluids after surface treatment.
  • Alodine - Chromate Conversion coating specification MILDTL-5541 covers two classes of chemical conversion coatings formed by the reaction of chemical conversion materials and the surfaces of aluminum and aluminum alloys. It is designed to provide corrosion protection and better paint adhesion than uncoated aluminum. It is used on aluminum alloys as a prepaint treatment for most approved paint systems, repair of damaged anodic coatings, and treatment of corrosion rework areas on clad and unclad aluminum alloys.  This specification covers the preparation and application of chemical conversion materials, and film formation or consistency.  These coatings are not as abrasion-resistant as anodized coatings conforming to specification MIL-A-8625, even though they do provide an effective means for reestablishing the corrosion resistance of mechanically damaged anodic coatings in the field.
  • Chemical remover – There are various types of chemical strippers used depending on the structure being chemically stripped.  All chemical removers have a shelf life of 6 months from the date of manufacture unless otherwise specified, if they are stored and maintained under the proper conditions. Chemical removers are toxic to skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Skin and eye protection required. 
  • Chromate – a byproduct used in aviation paint as a anti-corrosive additive.
  • Paint

Chemical Hazard Prevention Activity

Based on your experience (or what you know) list down 3 ways to prevent chemical hazards in the workplace. 

Chemical Hazard Prevention

Chemical Hazard Prevention

  • Use chemical resistant rubber gloves and aprons, and chemical, splash proof goggles and/or face shield during mixing or application.
  • Mixing and application of chemicals should be done in an adequately ventilated area. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapours.
  • Wear proper PPE - use the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to identify the proper PPE.

Chemical Hazard Knowledge Checkpoint 1

  • True
  • False
Hazardous Chemicals do not cause acute or long-term detrimental health effects.

Chemical Hazard Knowledge Checkpoint 2

is a highly flammable solvent used primarily for cleaning prior to painting and bonding.

Chemical Hazard Knowledge Checkpoint 3

List down 3 ways on how you can prevent Chemical Hazards.

Noise Hazard

What is a noise hazard?

Noise is an unwanted or damaging sound that may damage your hearing and cause other health effects such as stress, hypersensitivity to noise, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. It can also interfere with communication at work, which could lead to accidents.

Common causes of noise in the Aircraft Surface Finishing environment

  • Aircraft – when doing flight line work you will be in the black zone where noise levels are above 115 - 166 decibels.
  • Machinery – sanding machines, air blower, spray guns etc.
  • Spray booth – caused by the extraction system

Noise Hazard prevention:

  • Use the appropriate PPE when working in the spray booth or when working with machineries that emit high level of noise
  • When in the black zone wear earmuffs and ear buds
  • Make sure to attend your 6 monthly hearing test

Working at Heights Hazard

Working at Heights Definition

Working in any environment that exposes a worker, or any person within the vicinity of the workplace to the risk of a fall.  As an Aircraft Surface Finisher you will need to work at heights when you’re working on Upper Surface Corrosion Preventive Application. 

Working at Heights Safely:

  • When maintenance personnel are required to carry out a working at heights tasks, the use of a spotter is mandatory; personnel are not to work unsupervised on an elevated surface
  • Ensure that you have the proper equipment such as safety harness and lanyard fall arrest system
  • Use work stands or mobile scaffolding
  • Maintenance cannot be conducted during adverse weather conditions
  • Elevated Work Platform’s will be used extensively for maintenance tasks. This includes the use of boom style elevated work platforms, scissor lift style EWPs and maintenance stands and platforms. All personnel using EWP’s are to be licensed to operate the General Service Equipment and must have had familiarisation training on any EWP that they have not conducted formal OJT on, prior to using the EWP near aircraft.
  • All personnel authorised to use EWPs are required to conduct a pre-use inspection prior to use
  • Ladders are used as a last resort.

Working at Heights Risk

Identify at least 5 potential risks when Working at Heights.

Topic 3: Apply workplace safety practices within the Aircraft Surface Finishing environment

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Spot the Hazard

Click on the 4 hazards that you see in the image below. 

Spot the Hazard

Click on the 7 hazards that you see in the image below.

Summary

Summary

Congratulations!

You have now successfully completed the Workplace Safety for Aircraft Surface Finishers. 

You now have an understanding of: 

  • What hazard and risk mean
  • The potential hazards within the aircraft surface finishing environment
  • Different  workplace safety practices within the aircraft surface finishing environment