An airline baggage handler may not seem to have a dangerous job, but studies on how their work can impact their health can prove otherwise.
Baggage handlers spend many hours every day physically moving, carrying, lifting, or adjusting luggage of various weights. When it comes to activities that imply manually handling heavy objects, there is a high risk of workplace injury. And, when baggage handlers get hurt, they are entitled to workers compensation.
Here are three of the most common types of injuries baggage handlers can suffer from
Lower Back Injuries
Whenever a heavy object must be handled, that activity automatically stresses the lower back area of the body. Though current equipment can facilitate moving the luggage without the need to manually handle it, baggage handlers still have to physically deal with them. Over time, this can cause issues with lower back muscles, vertebrae or tendons.
All it takes is one wrong move or one improper lifting of a heavy object and the worker can get hurt. A lower back injury often requires months of treatment for a full recovery.
Repetitive trauma is caused by performing the same physical activity over and over, for years on end. Baggage handlers aren’t just at risk for spontaneous accidents that can take place in the blink of an eye, but the continuous stress their work poses on their body could also affect their health. Maybe not immediately, but as time goes on, certain more stressed area of the body may begin to hurt.
Unfortunately, without proper treatment, once these symptoms first show, many luggage handlers are forced to switch to lighter activity.
Severe Fractures or Head Trauma
Baggage handling sometimes implies lifting heavy luggage at a considerable height. If the line breaks and the workers are caught under it, it could potentially cause severe fractures, possibility even head trauma.
Depending on the severity of the fracture or injury, the worker would have to most likely expect to miss a few days from work to recover. Some fractures also cannot fully heal and may leave the worker with less mobility or pains for the rest of their lives.
Know Your Rights
If you are a baggage handler and got injured as a result of your work activity, Missouri law states you have a right to workers compensation. After seeking immediate medical care, you have the obligation of informing your employer of your injuries before you apply for these benefits.
In case you’re not sure how to proceed or are uncomfortable with such legal matters, it’s best to contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney and discuss your case with them. A lawyer can help you file the claim and oversee it to avoid any issues with the insurance company.