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Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Injuries in the Airline Industry

Casey Woodruff

airline workerWhen most Illinois residents think about the most dangerous jobs in the country, working in the airline industry does not immediately come to mind. However, according to a recent article in Time Magazine, aircraft pilots and flight engineers have some of the most hazardous jobs in America. If you work as a small aircraft pilot and get hurt while you are up in the air, can you file a successful workers’ compensation claim? How about a member of the ground crew or a baggage-handling ramp employee who sustains a serious injury on the ground?

The airline industry includes many different types of jobs, and each comes with its own set of hazards. If you do work for the airline industry in any capacity and get hurt in the course of your employment, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer and to file a claim for compensation.

Airline Work Ranked Among the Most Dangerous in the Country

Just how dangerous is work in the airline industry? According to the Time Magazine article, employees of the airline industry are ranked as having jobs with the third-highest fatality rate in the country, behind only logging workers (110.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 people) and fishing workers (80.8 injuries per 100,000 people). The numbers show that workers in the airline industry have a fatal rate of 64 per 100,000 people.

And it does not look as though those numbers represent any kind of improvement. More than a decade ago, an article in EHS Today, a magazine that focuses on occupational health and safety, reported that airline industry workers had injury rates that were substantially higher than those among employees in the construction industry.   You might be thinking that members of the ground crew or those handling heavy luggage sustain injuries most frequently.  Yet the EHS Todayarticle emphasized that flight attendants often are the employees who get hurt most seriously.

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) has been highlighting the risks of the job that flight attendants endure on every flight.  The AFA reports that “flight attendants suffer injuries related to poorly designed food and beverage carts, slipping on galley floors, handling or being struck by heavy carry-on baggage, and sustaining cuts and burns from galley equipment and oven racks.” What can airline industry employers do to help make this kind of work safer for its employees?

FAA Issues Policy to Improve Safety for Flight Attendants

In response to numerous complaints about airline industry safety and injuries sustained by cabin crew members, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) press release emphasized that the FAA had developed new policies for keeping cabin crew employees safer on the job. Yet these workers continue to sustain serious injuries at work. And workers in other areas of the airline industry expose themselves to dangers on the job, as well. A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Labor lists the following job types in the airline industry as being at risk of occupational injuries:

  • Ground crew;
  • Gate crew;
  • Ground service equipment workers;
  • Ramp workers;
  • Ticket counter employees;
  • Cockpit crew; and
  • Flight attendants/cabin crew.

Contact Airline Industry Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you suffered an injury or illness at a job in the airline industry, you deserve to seek workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with your case today. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans for more information about how we can help.

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