Ergonomic Time and Motion Studies of Aircraft De-icing Work | Abstract
Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Ergonomic Time and Motion Studies of Aircraft De-icing Work

Kurt Landau, Sylvie Nadeau, Tiphaine Le Floch and François Morency

This paper reports results of time and motion studies and ergonomic consequences of aircraft de-icing work. De-icing of aircraft on the ground is extremely important for maximizing technical safety, but also a major challenge for persons performing it. Between December 2016 and March 2017 we carried out video-supported time and motion studies on 11 personnel performing de-icing work in open baskets at a Canadian airport. Total time analyzed was 788 min, during which 1192 individual observations were made. Our observation sessions varied in length from 59 to 96 min, partly for weather reasons. After ascertaining the work systems used by the de-icers and determining the principal factors influencing them, we used REFA methods to perform a hierarchical analysis of work activities. Energy turnovers generated by these activities were calculated. These lie between 4 and 13 kJ/min, depending on weather conditions, air traffic density and individual work patterns of the de-icing personnel. Contributions of the individual activities to total value added were classified. Roughly one third of the de-icing activities made a direct contribution. The remaining two thirds made only indirect contributions or none at all. Stresses arising from the work were compared with the few findings reported in the literature. Further investigations are needed to understand thoroughly centralized de-icing activities.