DGUV Information 214-911e - Safe operations of helicopters during aerial work

Abschnitt 3.6 - 3.6 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Requirements regarding the nature, scope and suitability of the Personal Protective Equipment result from the respective risk assessment for the individual operational procedures.

Suitable Personal Protective Equipment is to be made available to the insured individuals according to Section 2 of the Ordinance on the use of PPE utilisation, if the hazards cannot be excluded by technical or organisational means.

Personal Protective Equipment is suitable if, for example:

  • it corresponds to the state of the art

  • it sufficiently and reliably reduces the identified hazards

  • it takes into account ergonomic aspects, such as fit and weight, manageability and possibility of individual adjustability, depending on the work task

  • the acceptance of the insured individuals was achieved in wearing/utilisation tests

  • the interactions or mutual influence of protective effects of several items of personal protection do not cause any loss of protection capacity

Appropriate protective equipment is to be available at the company in sufficient numbers, if necessary, individually, due to hygienic and individually ergonomic aspects. It makes sense, for example, to allocate protective equipment against falling personally, in order to avoid constant adjustment to the respective user and therefore to guarantee the protective effect.

An EC type examination must exist for the Personal Protective Equipment made available (except in the case of simple protective equipment, e.g. simple work gloves) as well as an EC declaration of conformity.

The employer has to ensure that Personal Protective Equipment is used in accordance with existing wear time limits and service life for its intended use.

The following Personal Protective Equipment can be used according to the identified hazards:

  1. 1.

    head protection, if injury to the head cannot be safely excluded through bumping, by swinging, falling or flying items or loads; for flying personnel, protective helmets with integrated ear protection or protective helmets and ear protection

  2. 2.

    foot protection for assignments on unpaved ground and if foot injuries are to be expected by knocking and trapping, by items falling over, falling down or unrolling, by stepping on pointed and sharp items

  3. 3.

    eye or face protection for work in the downwash and to protect against the sun

  4. 4.

    particle filter masks in the case of expected intensive dust turbulence

  5. 5.

    protective clothing to protect against mechanical impacts, wet conditions and wind

  6. 6.

    high visible clothes for better visibility of persons due to hazards caused by vehicle and flight operation

  7. 7.

    ear protection for work in noise sectors

  8. 8.

    skin protection according to skin protection plan and against solar radiation

  9. 9.

    protective equipment against falling, if the danger of falling exists for insured individuals on board aircraft, in Load Lifting Devices or raised work places and traffic routes

Mountaineering equipment may only be used to protect people against falling, if this is procured and labelled according to the generally recognised rules of technology in trade and industry.

In justified exceptional circumstances, rope systems with suitable Personal Protective Equipment against falling can be used outboard to receive persons, if other devices to receive persons are not possible and the time spent by persons in these systems without sufficient breaks is not more than 10 minutes. Exceptions are permissible, if an ergonomically formed working seat with foot rests is used.

If Personal Protective Equipment against falling is used inside or outside the helicopter cell within the scope of an external cargo transport of one or several persons (Human External Cargo, HEC) or is required for the transport of persons as external loads, this protective equipment against falling becomes a Personnel Carrying Device System (PCDS).

Approval of the Personnel Carrying Device System (PCDS) is required according to aviation certification regulations in the case of a transport of persons as external load on the cargo hook or hoist of a helicopter.