Nondestructive testing is an essential component of aircraft inspection and repair. However, simply because this method of inspection does not damage aircraft parts and systems, does not mean that technicians and mechanics should be careless when using advanced ultrasonic testing equipment such as our ultrasonic squirter system. Certain safety precautions should be taken by human operators.
General Safety Precautions for Common NDT Equipment and Procedures
- Wear appropriate clothing: Often, NDT technicians working above ground in order to access systems that are to be tested. These heights can as much as four, five or even six feet above the ground depending on the testing situation. Therefore, NDT technicians should always wear appropriate fall protection equipment as described by OSHA.
- Technicians should receive training in the use of ultrasonic testing equipment: It is critical that anyone working with ultrasonic testing equipment be trained and certified in NDT/NDI procedures. This ensures that: (A) equipment will be used properly, (B) results will be easily read and interpreted, (C) that personnel are not injured during the operation of machines such as immersion ultrasonic testing equipment.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations closely: Even people experienced in the operation of NDT equipment should carefully read and follow all materials related to the machines that are being used.
Other Types of NDT
The safety precautions one should take when working with NDT equipment depends on the kind of testing that is being done as well. The types of NDT include:
- Magnetic particle: Eye protection should be worn by the technicians so that they are protected from the irritating effects of dust particles and arcing.
- Penetrant: Skin contact with any penetrant that is being used.
- Electromagnetic: Recommendations of the manufacturer of the equipment should be followed explicitly.
- Radiographic: The exposure to the radiation by the operators should be regularly monitored, in accordance with the supplier’s instructions
Safety is serious business especially in industrial settings. Our equipment when it is properly operated can be as safe as any other kinds of equipment being used to inspect and repair aircraft systems and components. However, this fact does not override the need to use common sense, training and the manufacturer’s recommendations when using NDT equipment. These precautions make workers and the machines and systems they work on safer.