Many find it surprising that flight attendants have a higher injury rate than police officers, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
These on-the-job injuries show how flight attendants working at airports like Boston Logan may lack the safety protections afforded to other occupations. If you or a loved one were injured on the job, it’s important to seek the counsel of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call Attorney Sheehan today for a free consultation.
Flight Attendant Injury Statistics – Injuries Abound in Unexpectedly Turbulent Career
The injury risk that flight attendants face every day has gone mostly unnoticed in the mainstream media. Fortunately, several studies have been conducted to gather data on just how common flight attendant injuries are.
Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston conducted one of the most comprehensive of these studies in 2007. They discovered 47 percent of all participants — nearly half — had gotten injured on-the-job in the past year. 29 percent stated that they had multiple injuries within a year. Musculoskeletal injuries were the most common, at 33 percent of all reported injuries.
A trend of flight attendant injuries can be traced back many years, too. BLS data from 2006-2010 shows that flight attendants had an injury rate 6x higher than the average for all private industries. Conditions were so bad in 2000 that a coalition of flight attendants wore hard hats to work in protest and passed them out to passengers to raise awareness. At the time, they had an injury rate nearly three times higher than miners.
Going even further back, studies of flight attendants from 1983-1987 found that flight attendant injuries accounted for 15,573 days of missed work among a particular airline.
Clearly, flight attendant injuries present a persistent problem that has existed for quite some time and does not appear to be dissipating anytime soon.
Common Flight Attendant Injuries and Illnesses
Spinal and back injuries represent one of the most common types of injuries to flight attendant. Many passengers need help placing their luggage in the overhead compartment, and sometimes flight attendants must arrange or adjust these heavy bags in a hurry.
Repetitive stress and poor lifting technique stemming from cramped quarters greatly increase the risk of back injuries. Because flight attendants often lack proper lifting training or equipment, the chances for injury are even higher.
Other common injuries include:
- Respiratory illness
- Injury to hands, feets, arms and legs
- Injuries from equipment, such as 500 lb galley carts
- Passenger assaults
- Turbulence injuries
Unlike Most Occupations, Flight Attendants Lack OSHA Protection
A lack of regulatory oversight provides a likely culprit for the frequency of injury among flight attendants. Unlike most other industries, the aviation industry was not administered or inspected by OSHA for most of the past 50 years. The FAA has instead been responsible for similar duties since 1975, but a historical lack of accountability and transparency dominated.
Issues with recording and reporting of injuries, access to records, inspections, safety standards, fire protection, first aid and other such practices arose. After many years of slow-moving red tape, oversight was once again transferred to OSHA in 2014, but many issues still abound.
Finding a Flight Attendant Workers Compensation Attorney
If you or a family member works as a flight attendant and has been injured, you can increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation with the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Contact John J. Sheehan at 617-925-6407 for your free consultation today.