Belt Loader Changes

Brothers and Sisters,

In recent months the company has started a system wide modification to the front bumpers of all belt loaders we utilize.  This change has taken the front rubber bumper that stretches the width of the belt loader, and replaced it with small hard bumpers on either side of the belt loader.  These bumpers, also known as D-bumpers, leave a void between the aircraft and the belt.  Not only is this change in design creating several hazards for our membership, the company also failed to train agents on how to properly position the belt loader for use.  Complaints have been filed with OSHA in many cities, specifically Phoenix, Dallas, and Denver.  Following the submitted complaints, OSHA has already sent compliance officers to these three locations to begin their investigation.  Your TWU 555 Safety and Health Committee has heard your concerns and will keep you up to date on OSHA's findings.

*The new "D-Bumpers" installed and in use.  Please be extremely careful when dealing with the void that the bumpers create between the belt loader and the aircraft.

Please keep in mind that Southwest Airline's FIRST principle of Safety is to PROTECT YOURSELF.  If you find that a bag or piece of freight falls in the void between the belt loader and the aircraft, let it go.  Do not attempt to save that item by reaching in the void between the aircraft and the belt loader, doing so puts you at risk for severe injury.  Southwest Airline's SECOND principle of Safety is we PROTECT EACH OTHER.  Take the effort to call to your brother or sister, reminding them not to reach for a falling item in this gap that the new changes have created.

Southwest Airlines 5 Principles of Safety

Take responsibility for your own Safety and the Safety of those around you. Work each day in a manner that ensures that you and your Fellow Employees are protected. If you are aware of a condition, action, or process that adversely affects Safety at Southwest, report it immediately so that it can be addressed before an accident occurs.  Now more than ever, we should make our Five Principles of Safety a part of every action we take and every decision we make on the job. We should do everything we can to:

1. Protect Ourselves

2. Protect Each Other

3. Protect our Customers

4. Protect our Aircraft

5. Protect our Equipment

As always brothers and sisters, please stay safe, hydrated, and mindful of each other's safety.

In Solidarity,

Your Safety Committee
TWU Local 555