Airport Ground Support
Equipment Resources

Pushback Vehicles Fact Sheet – Preventing Struck By Injuries

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Purpose: To prevent struck by injuries while operating pushback vehicles.

Positioning Tug To/From Aircraft

Potential Hazards:

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

Possible Solutions:

  • Use properly positioned guide person for connecting towbar and towbar-less capture [Figures 1 -4]
  • Perform safety stops while approaching aircraft
  • Maintain appropriate speed
  • Maintain situational awareness and keep focus on task [Figure 5]
  • Report poor lighting conditions [Figures 6 & 7]
  • Wear proper foot wear [Figure 8]

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 3.11.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-29 at 3.11.10 AM

Walking Around the Vehicle

Potential Hazards:

  • Falling objects
  • Protruding equipment (i.e. mirrors, hitches, towbar)
  • Ramp congestion
  • Tripping hazards (i.e. ground support equipment cords)

Possible Solutions:

  • Remove unnecessary objects from the vehicle [Figure 9]
  • Secure necessary objects to the vehicle [Figure 10]
  • Be aware of other vehicles or equipment [Figure 11]
  • Be aware of protruding equipment attached to the vehicle [Figure 12]

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. 02/2015