Flight Attendants and Workers’ Compensation
Local 10 News recently reported that a military-chartered jet carrying 143 people crashed in a river at Naval Air Station Jacksonville after the pilot reportedly lost control. While there were no critical injuries, the passengers in the Boeing 737 reportedly experienced chaos and terror as the plane jolted back and forth and oxygen masks deployed before the overhead bins opened and sent the contents spilling out. Survivors credited the relative smoothness of situation to the flight staff who worked quickly to give direction.
Fortunately, a tragedy was avoided in this situation. However, this also spotlights a little-thought of fact – flight attendants have a job unlike any other. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), flight attendants have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.
What Do Flight Attendants Do?
The role that flight attendants play onboard a flight entails much more than simply passing out peanuts and rolling by with a beverage cart. Flight attendants also conduct preflight inspections of emergency equipment, demonstrate the use of safety equipment and emergency equipment and even administer medical care during in-flight emergencies when needed. They also work long shifts, nights and holidays, and spend many nights away from home. And work does not only take place in the air – the BLS has indicated that attendants usually fly 75 to 100 hours per month and generally spend another 50 hours per month on the ground preparing flights, writing reports, and waiting for aircrafts to arrive.
What Are Common Injuries Sustained by Flight Attendants?
Unfortunately, the nature of a flight attendant’s workplace makes it clear why the occupational injury rate is so high. Even an otherwise minor workplace injury can become severe when it occurs midair and there is no way to get medical treatment quickly. Additionally, flight attendants can come into contact with several hundred people during a single flight, each of who poses a risk of exposure to infectious diseases.
The workplace accidents and injuries suffered by flight attendants can include:
- Back or spinal injuries from lifting passenger baggage
- Cuts, lacerations, and other impact injuries from falling baggage
- Burns resulting from spilled hot liquids offered on the beverage cart
- Chronic back problems from reaching the overhead bin
- Head, shoulder or neck injuries from in-flight turbulence
- Wrist and back injuries from pushing or pulling a meal cart
- Respiratory illnesses due to poor air quality in the aircraft
- Injuries that occur in an airport or on shuttle buses from hotels to airport
Have You Been Injured While Working as a Flight Attendant?
If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury while working as a flight attendant that you believe warrants entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits, allow us to help. Many flight attendant injury claims become complicated and obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury can be a challenging process. Fortunately, the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.