Air travel is a main mean of transportation around the world. Flights both large and small are utilized for business and pleasure. Depending on the size of the airplane; ramps, stairs, air bridges or ambulatory high lift vehicles are used for entering and exiting passengers.
Air bridges are the enclosed device that connects the airplane to the terminal building for passengers. These bridges are protected from the outdoor elements and do not pose as great a risk for slip and fall accidents. Portable ramps and stairs are not connected to the terminal and are used for passengers to enter and exit directly from the plane onto the “apron” or tarmac. Ambulatory high lift vehicles help transport physically impaired passengers to and from the airplane.
According to ADA ramps addressing more than 6” should have a handrail, if they exceed 30’ they should have a platform, they should have side flanges of 2” to prevent slipping from the edge and they should have a non-skid surface and be designed to prevent water accumulation. These guidelines should be considered for airplane portable ramps and stairs, especially ramps or stairs that passengers access. Reducing the risk of slip and fall accidents should be of high importance.
Painted on or tape on products provide some slip resistance, however they must be maintained and can be a temporary fix. A more permanent choice for slip resistant footing is a product like SlipNOT®. High traction plate and stair treads can be incorporated into any style ramp or stair tread. Aluminum is light weight and a good choice to meet requirements for OSHA ramps and treads.
Other specific safety procedures and terms can be found at “ Ground Accident Prevention Ramp Operational Safety Procedures.” This page includes downloadable pdfs that specifically talk about ramps, stairs, air bridges and ambulatory high lift vehicles safety procedures.
ADA ramp information found at: http://www.rampsplus.com/ada-ramp.html