When someone decides to go on vacation and books a flight, they infrequently stop to think about the thousands of people who work hard to make sure that their flight is safe, clean, well-stocked, fueled, and that their baggage is loaded correctly. 

The truth is that these hardworking airline employees are at high risk of becoming injured or ill at work, all because of the nature of their jobs. 

Common Injuries And Illnesses Among Airline Workers

Here is a list of the most common injuries and illnesses diagnosed in airline employees: 

Repetitive Motion Injuries 

patient with broken bones and chemical burnsWhat is a repetitive motion injury? Also known as repetitive stress injuries, these injuries occur when the same motion being made over and over causes microscopic tears in tissues. When these tears recur because they are not given time to heal, inflammation results and pain is felt. 

For example, having to continually lift bags and place them on a conveyor belt could result in repetitive motion injuries to the knees, shoulders, and even elbows. 

Another common example of a repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, often diagnosed in people who use keyboards all day. The repetitive typing causes ligaments and muscles to swell, applying pressure to the median nerve.

Back Injuries

Back injuries occur for a wide variety of reasons, from lifting to slip and falls. When damage occurs to the muscles, the spine, the nerves, or the spinal cord, a patient can feel immense pain that could potentially last a lifetime, may have areas of numbness or constant tingling, and may have their fine motor skills impacted. Range of motion may also become limited. 

In addition to this, partial or total paralysis can occur. 

Broken Bones 

Many airline workers engage daily with heavy machinery, moving vehicles, and heavy objects. If an accident occurs with any of these, it’s common for bones to break. 

A broken bone may not seem like a big deal but bone takes months to heal and if complications occur, that length of time can be extended. Additionally, a broken bone can damage surrounding tissues, tendons, and nerves. 

Brain Injuries 

Even if the same part of the brain is injured, two people may experience two completely different sets of symptoms. Brain injuries can cause memory loss, difficulty speaking, paralysis, headaches, and even personality changes. 

Hearing Loss 

There is no denying that airplanes are very loud. When someone’s ears are exposed to that constant noise it can damage the inner ear and result in hearing loss. Safety gear is supposed to be provided for employees to prevent this damage from occurring. 

Various Illnesses

Many airline employees come into contact with a wide variety of chemicals each day. Exposure to these chemicals can result in illnesses including lung disease and cancer. 

If an employee is exposed to a passenger’s bodily fluids, this could also result in a contracted illness. 

Injuries Caused By Assault 

Sadly, sometimes a passenger is unable to control themselves and lashes out in frustration and anger. Attacks on airline employees have occurred with increasing frequency over the last several years and the injuries sustained can be grave. 

Injuries Vary Greatly Across Different Positions

Airline workers in nearly every imaginable position have been forced to search for a “workers’ compensation attorney near me” because of the injury or illness they were diagnosed with as a result of their work. In the past, the workers’ comp lawyers at Schuster Law have represented:

  • Flight Attendants 
  • Airline Administration 
  • Operations Agents 
  • Avionics Techs 
  • Flight Dispatchers 
  • Sales Associates 
  • Meteorologists
  • Station Agents 
  • Flight Instructors 
  • Loading Crew Members 
  • Engineers 

Whatever their position, whatever their injury or illness, the fact is that airline employees have the right to seek compensation.