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Baggage handlers face many work-related injuries

As airlines add more flights, the hustle and bustle grow at U.S. airports. After more than two years of challenges due to concerns regarding COVID-19, carriers and airports gain some sense of normalcy

This also means job security for the thousands of airport ground crew workers, including baggage handlers. However, this group has a physically strenuous job, carrying, lifting, pushing and loading the bags of passengers, every hour and every day.

Repetitive stress

The work can prove painful and lead to musculoskeletal injuries, including back pain. All that time spent lifting baggage that weigh as much as 75 pounds, pushing carts stocked with luggage takes a toll on a body. And do not forget the stress.

Adding up the lengthy time doing this, workers may suffer occupational diseases, which are directly tied to their working conditions, thus qualifying for workers’ compensation claims.

The causes of the injuries faced by baggage handlers include:

  • Overexertion: Lifting heavy objects and constant bending may lead to the more common injuries to the neck, shoulders, lower back and knees. Damage to tendons and ligaments also are possible. Finally, hernias and nerve damage may surface as well.

  • Repetitive stress: The prolonged hours of doing the same work can cause repetitive stress injuries. The list may include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and arthritis.

  • Slips, trips and falls: Slippery floors remain constant hazards that may lead to a fall. Some workers also may lose their footing when making an improper lift. Fractures, concussions and traumatic brain injuries may be the outcomes.

Remaining alert is crucial for baggage handlers. But their employers also must provide them with proper training to minimize any job hazards they face.

Protecting workers

Increased airport activity is a good thing for its workers. But employers must do their best to protect workers such as baggage handlers. Providing them with the right equipment and training goes a long way.

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