Of those who work at the airport, pilots are not people you’d think would get hurt. They take breaks between flights to rest, and they generally do very little lifting or loading onto the plane.
But pilots can suffer from on-the-job injuries, too. How? Here are a few examples.
One situation that can lead to an injury is getting up between the cockpit and the center console. There have been pilots who caught one of their feet under the center console due to the narrow space between the console and seat. When that happens, it’s possible to twist the leg, tear tendons and ligaments, and cause other damage to the knee as they attempt to walk forward or to the side.
Did you know that flight bags used to weigh over 40 pounds?
Shoulder bags used to weigh over 40 pounds, which meant that pilots often had shoulder injuries. Lifting the weight, especially at unusual angles and several times a day, could affect the lower back, elbows and shoulders.
Pilots who try to stay on schedule can accidentally get hurt
When flights are delayed, those delays impact everyone. That’s why some pilots take to helping with loading baggage. They may help passengers load bags into the overhead compartments, or load or unload luggage to quickly get the plane prepared for the next round of passengers. Several pilots have been injured in that way in the past. (It should also be mentioned that if you’re hurt doing something that is not in your normal course of work, you could lose the right to workers’ compensation, so it’s best not to take on new responsibilities without approval.)
Stairs are hazards for everyone
Finally, with some smaller planes, it’s normal to get on and off the flight with metal air stairs. Air stairs are steep, and if it rains, they become slick. Lifting bags from the ground to the plane while climbing these stairs is dangerous for customers, pilots and flight attendants. There have been accidents where people have fallen and broken ankles, suffered head injuries and ended up with other injuries all because of using air stairs.
Overall, remember that anyone who does a job can get hurt. If you are a pilot and hurt yourself in the cockpit, while boarding, while disembarking or when performing other approved duties, workers’ compensation should cover your needs. Anyone can get hurt on the job, so if you do, make sure you report it to your employer.