Airport workers are exposed to many hazards every day. In fact, it’s extremely easy to get hurt on the job if precautions aren’t taken.
Some of the unique dangers that airport workers face include:
- Needle sticks
- Transportation accidents
- Physical abuse or attacks
- Back injuries
- Trip-and-fall injuries
To start with, remember that there are many types of airport workers. There are baggage handlers, airline attendants and pilots. There are people who work with you to help you board or to help those with disabilities get from the plane to their destination. Everyone who works at the airport faces different challenges.
1. Needle sticks
Needle sticks are probably one of the injuries least expected on the job as an airline attendant or worker. Why? You wouldn’t think you’d come into contact with them. However, the majority of incidents involve needle sticks by patients with diabetes. They may not seal a needle off properly, or they could dispose of them improperly in airline toilets or other areas. Fortunately, needle sticks rarely lead to serious illness, but they do pose the threat of passing on serious and contagious illnesses.
2. Transportation accidents
When working on a runway, there is a risk of being hit by the plane as well as being struck by other moving vehicles. Even if driving, there is a risk of getting into a collision on the runway.
3. Physical attacks or abuse
Disgruntled passengers or coworkers pose a threat to people in all different jobs, but for airline workers, the stress of traveling increases the risk. It’s most often that angry or frustrated passengers end up in an altercation with the airline attendant or others, causing injuries or, at the very least, slowing take off or boarding.
4. Back injuries
Airline attendants, in particular, have to help people load their bags once on the plane. Baggage handlers also work with the larger suitcases, loading them onto the plane. While there are tools to help, there is always a risk of straining the neck, shoulders or back.
5. Trip-and-fall injuries
Finally, there’s the risk of trip-and-fall accidents. This could happen due to turbulence on the plane or passengers who leave items in the plane’s aisles. Accidents can also occur due to spills in the airport or pushing and shoving while boarding or exiting the plane.
These are a few ways airline workers are put at risk. If you’re hurt, workers’ compensation should be there for you.