Safety Starts with You: A Personal Story and Reminder for Workplace Vigilance”

Safety Starts with You!!!

It’s hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the month of June. With that comes the beginning of the peak summer travel season. As you may have already seen in the media, the airlines are expecting a record number of customers traveling.

As we enter into this peak season, our top priority is keeping you and your fellow employees safe. A critical component of running a safe operation starts with you.

I started my career as a ramp agent in IAD when I was 19 years old. One afternoon, my team was assigned to offload a 767-300 that had just arrived from Europe. After the bags were offloaded, we positioned the cargo loader to the forward pit to offload 4 LD7 cargo pallets. I was on the top platform of the loader assisting the operator in offloading the pallets. As the last pallet came off the airplane, I made the decision to walk out with the pallet and ride down on the cargo loader (which was against policy). As I walked onto the outer platform, I put myself in a position behind the pallet so the operator could not see me. With the pallet taking up the entire width of the platform, there was nowhere for me to go as the pallet was moved into position. Had it not been for the cargo netting around the pallet which allowed me a hand and foothold, I would have been knocked off the end of the loader from a height of about 25 feet!!

Needless to say, safety did not start with me that afternoon. A fall from that height would have surely had life changing implications for me. I was extremely lucky!!

Please remember this story each time you step foot into the operation and make a conscious decision to follow all policies and procedures, they are there for a reason. Stop the process if you see something out of the ordinary. Take care of your coworkers.

And always remember that Safety Starts with You!!

Brandon Airey Vice President – Operations