Airport Ground Support
Equipment Resources

Pushback Vehicles Fact Sheet – Preventing Caught In Between Injuries

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Purpose: To prevent caught in between injuries while operating pushback tugs.

Positioning Tug To Aircraft

 Potential Hazards:

  • Obstructed view
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Surface conditions
  • Ramp congestion (equipment, baggage or debris)
  • Poor lighting
  • Connecting towbar
  • Distraction

Possible Solutions:                                                              

  • Use properly positioned guide person for connecting towbar and towbar-less capture [Figures 1-3]
  • Maintain communication/awareness between driver and guide person
  • Perform safety stops while approaching aircraft
  • Discontinue approaching aircraft when safety critical equipment malfunctions
  • Maintain appropriate speed
  • Maintain situational awareness and keep focused on task
  • Report poor lighting conditions
  • Wear proper foot wear



Employers are responsible for training employees on the safe use of ground support equipment. Employees are responsible to their employers for following procedures as trained in the use of ground support equipment.

Additional Resources

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • 14 CFR 139, Certification and Operations: Land Airports Servicing Certain Air Carriers. This is part of the electronic code of federal regulations. Specific areas of interest for the airline industry may include:
    • 139.101, Certification requirements: General
    • 139.203, Contents of airport certification manual
    • 139.205, Amendment of contents of airport certification manual
    • 139.329, Ground vehicles

Part 139 Certification. Requires the FAA to issue airport operating certificates to airports that serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier aircraft with more than 30 seats or that the FAA Administrator requires to have a certificate.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace and workers have rights. OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. For more information, contact your regional or area OSHA office, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), or visit

Through the OSHA and Airline Group Safety Panel Alliance, the Airline Ground Safety Panel developed this Fact Sheet for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of OSHA or the U.S. Department of Labor. 06/2015