Electrical hazards are present in almost any industry or location, and the air transport industry is no exception. Where electricity is present, there is always the possibility of electrical dangers.
So how do you ensure and maintain electrical safety in the air transport industry? Here are a few guidelines:
As with most electrical systems in land-based infrastructures, the best way to ensure the safety of an electrical installation is regular maintenance checks, immediate repairs when needed, and upgrades when warranted. The same is also true for the electrical system of both an aircraft and an air transport terminal. Not only is this to prevent accidents like electrical fires and electrical shocks, but also to keep an airborne craft in good working order while it is in transit or the middle of a flight. This is because most aircraft navigation systems are also powered by electricity.
If an aircraft experiences a fire in mid-flight, the crew needs to act quickly. Emergency measures for landing the plane must be undertaken, and it is imperative that the plane should be on the ground as soon as possible, ideally within the next 17 minutes. The reason is that fires that start while a plane is in mid-flight can spread quickly, and then becomes difficult, if not impossible, to contain. The safety of the passengers and everybody else on board should be the main priority.
In the meantime, all possible measures for containing the fire must be undertaken by the crew, and as aggressively as possible.
The aviation industry, as part of the public transport industry, is highly invested with public interest, and safety is always a great concern. Accidents, whether due to human or machine error, can be costly in terms of the lives that could be claimed. That is why electrical safety is paramount in the aviation industry, and one of the ways to protect against electrical hazards and dangers is to perform regular electrical maintenance checks.
Aircraft maintenance is specialized work and is not something that just anybody can perform, not even regular electricians. A good understanding, familiarity, and extensive education and training are needed, not just in aircraft electrical systems, but also in aircraft design and function, as well as mechanical systems, engine, and design.
All aircraft should be inspected and examined before departure, and while this often takes place behind the scenes, may also take place on the runway. Not only can this save the airline a lot because of the immediate response to the need for upgrades or replacements which can prevent even costlier repairs later on, but regular electrical maintenance can also save lives.
Electricians know that the most well-designed electrical system can still be prone to accidents, faulty wiring, and the need for repairs over time. Things simply do not last forever. Periodic maintenance can nip problems in the bud whenever they do arise, and prevent electrical issues from growing to the point where more extensive work needs to be done. Most importantly, however, preventive electrical maintenance helps the aviation industry live up to its implied contract to carry its passengers from the point of departure to the point of disembarkation as safely as possible.
Now that electric trains and electric cars have made their successful debut in the travel industry, it seems only natural to turn our eyes to the aviation industry next. But while electric aircraft are still only planned on a drawing board, important inroads have already been made with the development of hybrid planes.
Hybrid planes are characterized by engines that combine battery and petrol engines, which is somewhat similar to hybrid cars. Both engines work together during the plane’s take-off and climb into higher altitudes because extra power is needed at this time. Subsequently, however, or in-flight, the electric motor begins to act like a generator and recharges the batteries.
It is always the limitations of battery and battery storage capacities that have prevented electric planes from fully “getting off the ground,” so to speak. While current efforts are now being made to address this issue, there has been a favorable reception to planes with hybrid engines in the meantime. All told, hybrid engines already contribute a lot to the drastic reduction in the carbon emissions generated by the aviation industry, which is believed to account for at least 2 percent of all man-made carbon emissions.
So while electric planes remain as hopes and goals in the future, important first steps are already being taken today by the increasing use of hybrid aircraft engines.
Perhaps nobody can seriously argue against the idea that clean technology is better and that a cleaner flight, when possible, is also better. This is a step-up from initial steps that were already taken by airliners in using alternative biofuels to help reduce carbon emissions. Next step, hybrid planes. Hopefully, the next step after that would be electric planes!
Electricians work in a dangerous industry, and sometimes, no matter how many precautions and safety measures they may take, they can still be prone to electrical accidents such as electrical shock, burns, or fires.
So part of the repertoire of an electrician’s skills should be the knowledge and ability to administer first aid to those who may be the victim of an electrical accident. These first aid methods may include:
For electrical burns, the best thing to do is to bring the injured to a doctor as soon as possible. Call 911 immediately, and if the person is still connected to an electrical current, do not attempt to touch that person. Instead, try and locate the source of the power and turn it off.
If a person is not moving or breathing, start administering CPR. Keep the person warm, and cover the injured area with a clean gauze bandage or a clean cloth. Try not to use cloths with loose fibers, like towels, because the fibers may stick to the burned areas of the skin.
Wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive. Try not to move the injured person because electrical burns may sometimes be more serious internally than what is apparent on the skin surface.
An electrical shock can cause electrical burns, but it may also result in other physical difficulties such as difficulty breathing, muscle contractions, pain, seizures, arrhythmia, and loss of consciousness.
Similar to administering to the victim of an electrical burn, make sure that the power source is turned off first. Use CPR if the person does not appear to be breathing, and cover any burned areas. Otherwise, wait for the emergency personnel to arrive to administer professional treatment.