Hidden Dangers Faced by Airline Mechanics in Chicago

There are hidden dangers that airline mechanics face regularly in the workplace. While mechanics often take safety precautions and wear the appropriate gear to help prevent work-related injuries, some hazards may be less apparent and therefore are more difficult for employees to prevent.

Crushing Accidents

One potential hidden danger that could cause serious injuries or fatalities is a crushing accident. An airline mechanic in Chicago suffered fatal injuries in late 2020 after airplane equipment crushed him on the job. The specific circumstances leading up to the accident remain unclear as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still investigating.

The victim in this accident was 35-year-old Jijo George, an immigrant from India who began working as a mechanic under Envoy Air at O’Hare International Airport nearly two years before the accident. According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the accident involved an “aircraft drivable pushback apparatus” that crushed George in hanger 764, leading to his death less than two hours following the accident.

This accident is one of the many that highlight the need for sufficient safety gear and practices for airline mechanics. 

Other Risks for Airline Mechanics

In addition to crushing accidents, airline mechanics face numerous hazards that could cause serious injury or death. 

One hazard that mechanics may overlook is the toxic paint used to paint planes. To protect mechanics from the potentially deadly effects of inhaling or absorbing this paint, workers need air respirators along with gear that prevents their skin from becoming exposed.

Other chemicals that put airline mechanics at risk include adhesives and cleaning solvents, sanding dust, and airplane or jet fuel. Oftentimes, fuel spills occur that cover the mechanic in jet fuel, which is also toxic and highly flammable.

The Importance of Workplace Safety for Airline Mechanics

To minimize the chance of work-related accidents and injuries for airline mechanics, both employers and employees need to do what they can to maintain a consistently safe work environment. Workers should always wear the proper safety gear and remain attentive to every task they perform, which will help protect them routinely. 

Taking the right steps can help mitigate both the obvious and hidden dangers that airline mechanics frequently face in Chicago and other cities.