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Baggage Handling

Ramp - Automated Loading and Unloading
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Passenger airplane in flight

Typically, only the largest aircraft use cargo containers to store passenger luggage. These containers are loaded onto the plane using an automated system that is operated by the ramp agent. The automated system will help solve many of the hazards found when loading baggage onto the cargo bin, however, new hazards may exist if there are circumstances where containers need to be manually positioned.

Pushing the Container to the Loader Top
Potential Hazards

  • Reaching to push the container onto the loader can strain the back, shoulders, and arms.

  • Pushing containers that can vary widely in weight can cause strain to many areas of the body.
Image of bins used in modular baggage system
Figure 1. Bins used in automated baggage systems
Image of baggage bins being lifted mechanically to loading platform
Figure 2. Baggage bins are mechanically lifted to loading platform
Possible Solutions

  • Educate ramp agents about proper positioning techniques to increase awareness of good work practices.
    • Push cargo containers with the help of other workers. Loaded containers should be positioned by at least two people.
    • Avoid pulling the containers; pushing is preferred when manual positioning is necessary.
  • Conduct preventive maintenance inspections on rollers so manual positioning of containers results in as little resistance as possible.

Image of baggage bins being pulled mechanically across loading platform through door
Figure 3. Bins are mechanically pulled across loading platforms and through the door.

Image of baggage bins being moved mechanically within the plane to position.
Figure 4. Baggage bins are mechanically moved into the plane and into position.

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