Even though modern aircraft are built to withstand meteorological extremes, it is still important to monitor and forecast the weather in airfields and airports. The weather has a significant effect on their operation during taxiing, take-off and landing, and impacts the safety of all those on board.
At ground level, wind observation helps to determine where, when and how aircraft take off and land. At times of high wind, it may be necessary to cease all air traffic and close the airport. This was the case in October 2016 during Hurricane Matthew when airports in Florida were forced to close.
Wind speed and wind direction should be measured using an automated sensor. The display unit should show instantaneous (real-time) measurements, as well as the 2-minute average, 10-minute average and max/min gusts. Sensors should be installed at multiple locations throughout the airfield. A back-up device, such as a Handheld Anemometer, is needed in case of failure or unavailability of automated sensors.
It also necessary to measure temperature and humidity in airfields and airports, as these can affect engine performance.
Since the weather is susceptible to rapid change, meteorological observations must be recorded continuously. This should be done in accordance with national airport standards.
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Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that the health and safety rights of their employees are met in the workplace. This is enforced in the UK under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which requires employers to make any financial and time prerequisite necessary. The law includes the specification to access slip hazards and this can include uneven floors, low traction surfaces and wet floors. It is a requirement that every company records these findings meticulously, where there are five or more employees. It is absolutely essential that these processes are taken seriously, as Health and safety injuries cost industry around £500 million per year. The majority of injuries claimed for are broken bones and such accidents can drastically change an individual’s life. As a result a company can be at a substantial loss if they do not take the health and safety of their employees seriously.
However there are other benefits resulting from taking slips and trips seriously, which include; employees having less time off work as they are fit and able, the preservation of morale within the company and maintaining a good reputation to the outside world. Companies who fail to comply with these standards can expect legal action to be taken against them and their insurance premiums to significantly rise. However employees must also follow the correct protocol laid out for them in the workplace and if they chose to act outside of the health and safety guidelines, for example not wearing slip resistant shoes, culpability will not lie with the organisation. To minimise instances of employee error, it is beneficial for companies to purchase a skid resistance tester as this instrument can test the slipperiness of floor surfaces. If a company records their findings and is later taken to court by an injured employee, they can produce these records to mitigate any action of misconduct against them in court.
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