FOD stands for “Foreign Object Debris” which refers to any object, article, debris, or substance that is in an area where it does not belong and could create a hazard by being there. These hazards could include damage to personnel or equipment, all the way up to major losses of life. On July 25th, 2000, Air France flight 4590 hit a small piece of metal debris on the runway during takeoff resulting in a chain reaction that brought the plane down seconds after it hit the debris. All 109 people on board the plane were killed, as were four people on the ground when the plane crashed into a hotel. Preventing incidents like these from occurring, with planes or otherwise, is why FOD management is so incredibly crucial to a safe workplace. Here are a few main methods for dealing with FODs to help ensure a safe work environment for both you, your employees, and your customers:
Equipment and Tool Checks
FODs don’t just have to be debris, they are any object that is in an area it isn’t intended to be. This can include tools, hardware, and equipment among many other things. Having a place for each tool and knowing the exact amounts of your various pieces of hardware at the beginning of every day, then making sure everything is returned or accounted for at the end of the day, is an important part of FOD control. If something is missing you’ll know it is missing and be able to look for it to prevent any issues.
An FOD walk involves a tight line of people walking down a runway, or across a workspace, and manually looking for FODs. While it can be a good method for alleviating FODs, the system has several flaws. Mainly, you can’t perform FOD walks constantly, so there are multiple chunks of time where FODs are not being looked for and thus could cause problems.
Magnetic sweepers, such as those offered by AZ Industries, help address many of the problems with FOD walks. A magnetic sweeper attaches to any of a workplace’s drivable equipment such as trucks, carts, or other similar vehicles. It then constantly eliminates debris both metallic and non-metallic in nature as you go about your other work, ensuring a steadier level of control over FODs.
Creating a workplace that is safe from FODs is an ongoing process and the best tactic is to employ as many methods as possible to ensure the highest level of safety. Let AZ Industries help you get started with one of our FODMaster® Rocksweepers.