As an aircraft maintenance worker, you could be exposed to COVID-19 in situations such as when you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 or when you touch surfaces while repairing aircraft interiors and lavatories that have been touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
- Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, when possible.
- Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, following the directions on the cleaning product’s label.
- Use gloves whenever you touch surfaces contaminated by body fluids.
- Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Key times to clean hands in general include:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Additional times to clean hands on the job include:
- Before and after work shifts
- Before and after work breaks
- After touching frequently touched surfaces
- After removing any personal protective equipment (PPE)
- After performing maintenance tasks such as handling untreated human waste
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Recommendations based on work tasks:
- Wear your normally required PPE, if applicable, when making repairs in the passenger cabin area.
- Do not use compressed air or water sprays to clean surfaces contacted by passengers, as these techniques may aerosolize potentially infectious material.
- If cleaning is required before you make repairs, first review CDC cleaning guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and contact your employer for additional guidance.
Air Filter Replacement:
- Wear your normally required PPE, if applicable.
- Follow the manufacturer’s filter replacement schedule.
- When replacing air filters (including HEPA filters):
- Avoid hitting, dropping, or shaking the filter.
- Do not use compressed air to clean a filter. This will keep materials in the filter from becoming airborne.
- Dispose of the used filter and gloves in a sealed plastic bag.
- Clean your hands when the task is finished.
Waste and Wastewater Handling:
- Follow standard practices when performing work tasks that could expose you to untreated waste and wastewater. Untreated waste and wastewater colored blue (i.e., a deodorizing agent in some aircraft toilets) are not disinfected and have the potential to be infectious. Take these steps to protect yourself:
- Avoid causing or creating a fine spray of untreated waste material.
- Do not vent aircraft vacuum waste tanks inside hangars if the aircraft’s external venting system is not equipped with a filter to prevent the spread of germs from the waste. If you must vent the vacuum waste tanks inside a hangar, use a technique that exhausts the air outside the hangar.
- Use employer-provided PPE when handling human waste or sewage:
- Splash-proof face shield
- Liquid-repellent coveralls
- Waterproof gloves
- Rubber boots
- Remove PPE after use following your employers’ instructions, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.