The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

Airline flight crews face many hazards at work

Many people think that working on an airplane is a fun job. After all, you get to fly to different places for free. What many people don't realize is that members of the flight crew face some very real risks with every flight.

For these individuals, a love for the job and the desire to earn a check lead them to continue working. Still, it is imperative that all airlines provide a safe work environment for employees.

Wide variety of risks

There are several different risks that flight crew members face on a daily basis. Business Insider named the three top health risks for flight attendants, as well as airline pilots, flight engineers and copilots.

  • Flight attendants:
    • Exposure minor stings, cuts, burns, bites
    • Exposure to contaminants
    • Exposure to infections and disease
  • Pilots, flight engineers, copilots:
    • Time spent sitting
    • Exposure to contaminants
    • Exposure to radiation

Another risk is that of back injuries that can stem from overexertion and similar factors. Heavy lifting and having to bend over frequently can cause problems with the back. Sometimes, bad turbulence can lead to injuries for the flight crew.

Prevention is the key

While it might not be possible to avoid all injuries when you are on the flight crew, you should be able to have appropriate preventative measures in place that help to minimize the risk that you will have an accident or suffer from an injury. One way to do this is through training. An understanding of the risks and knowing how to avoid them can be beneficial.

For the risks of infection and disease, flight crew members should make sure that they have proper immunizations when possible. Trying to remain healthy is also beneficial. It isn't possible to avoid all illnesses due to working in an enclosed space with passengers who might be ill. Airlines should provide gloves and other items that enable crew members to handle sick passengers' needs without any unnecessary exposure to germs.

Radiation exposure must be carefully monitored. This can be done through the use of devices that test levels and issue alerts when the reading is above the established upper limit. Airlines must have a plan in place to address high readings.

Any flight crew member who is injured or suffers a work-related illness might opt to file a workers' compensation claim. This can ensure he or she gets medical care and can provide partial wage replacement for extended periods.

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