Even small and seemingly harmless pieces of foreign object debris can cause serious damage to equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and personnel. In fact, the cost of FOD can rise to billions each year when systems, tires, and engines have to be repaired or replaced. However, the damage caused by FOD can be mitigated by employing the following tips.
Ensure Employees Are Properly Trained
Foreign object debris prevention begins with proper and thorough training. This training should clearly communicate how to prevent FOD in terms of proper identification and removal.
However, for this training to be considered complete, it should also cover the repercussions of not dealing with FOD when it’s been identified, as well as the importance of maintaining the safety of all passengers and personnel. The right training will educate and also raise awareness.
Inspect Areas Properly and Frequently
Regular inspection is definitely important for the prevention of FOD, but unless that inspection is also done properly, the risk of damage only rises. That being said, it’s important to not only conduct inspections during daylight hours when FOD is most visible but also ensure the following areas are regularly inspected:
- Ground support equipment areas
- Around buildings on the operations field
- Near parking gates
- Open spaces located near where operations occur
Identifying and removing FOD that’s been identified is important. Of equal importance is being able to identify which items may potentially become FOD in the future and to ensure these are removed as well.
Use the Right Tools for FOD Prevention and Removal
To be eliminated regularly, some kind of system should be in place to allow for continual identification and elimination of FOD at every level. For example, having equally spaced waste bins available inside an airport can be just as effective a control system as using FOD sweepers on the airfield; both reduce the risk of this debris damaging aircraft and injuring personnel.
Evaluating FOD Removal Systems
Before the right system can be included as part of any FOD prevention guideline, some preliminary research will be necessary into the types of available systems and their effectiveness for your particular operation.
A rumble strip can be ideal for FOD control in a passive way, dislodging any potential debris from vehicles before they enter your operations. Magnetic bars can be very effective at collecting FOD, but they must be regularly inspected and cleaned to ensure continued effectiveness.
Where it comes to efficacy, the airfield sweeper is at the top of the list. This FOD removal equipment can reach areas like pavement joints and cracks, and it can also be used in a multitude of areas for the thorough elimination of debris.
The patented FOD*BOSS sweeper system is not only NATO-listed, but has been tested by the U.S. military and found to be a fast, efficient, and secure way to collect and trap FOD. Get more information about the benefits of the powerful FOD*BOSS airfield sweeper today.