As the aerospace industry expands, safety professionals must address new environmental and workplace safety challenges, according to an article in the March issue of the Professional Safety Journal of the American Society of Safety Engineers. In “Aerospace Safety: The Future Is Now” Gil BevenFlorez highlights the fact that “safety professionals and industrial hygienists must be well-versed in contemporary safety regulations and practices, as well as the risks associated with this industry
BevenFlorez further points out that “as new and experienced aerospace companies move forward in this new space age, it is not enough to develop a safety environment based on familiar threats—safety professionals must anticipate concerns based on evolving technological advances and the landscape of an increasingly cost-competitive aerospace culture.”
Citing key events that have influenced the development of aerospace safety – the tragic loss of three astronauts during a test launch of Apollo 1, a fatal incident resulting from a hybrid nitrous-oxide-fueled rocket engine test at Scaled Composites, and the near drowning of a European Space Agency astronaut during a space station extravehicular activity – BevenFlorez argues that “modern-day safety personnel must integrate historical lessons learned with anticipated new hazards when planning for and executing current and future aerospace programs.”
He sums up the current challenges faced by safety professionals in the aerospace industry by noting that “as the aerospace renaissance blossoms, the OSH community will face familiar threats and new hazards. The multilayered dangers from the production line to the flight line have historically affected the safety profession and will continue to do so. The industry must place a greater emphasis on aerospace safety education.”
Gil BevenFlorez, MCM, CSHO, earned Certified Safety and Health Official certificates in Construction and General Industry through the veteran’s program at the Occupational Safety Council (OSCA)/Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, and a Masters in Communication Management from USC. A former Army Captain, Gil served in the military for sixteen years, including a year in Iraq. He is furthering his passion for aerospace by pursuing an M.S. in Occupational Safety Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. As a second generation aerospace worker, he is dedicated to the safety of the aerospace community. Currently, he is an EHS Specialist at Lisi Aerospace and Industry Trainer at El Camino College.