Airport workers in Minnesota and around the country may have special concerns about workplace safety and health. While some of them may not necessarily seem to have a risky profession, there are a number of physically challenging and risky occupations, especially in ground handling of airplanes, luggage, and maintenance. Airports have a responsibility to protect the safety of their employees on the job, including providing the appropriate personal protective equipment and tools necessary for them to do their work safely.
Dangers for airport ground staff
Ground ramp staff regularly operate heavy, complex equipment and deal with moving airports in close proximity. Airplanes are extremely loud and the noise of their operation can cause hearing damage. When airplanes push back for takeoff, ground staff must navigate moving aircraft with engines running and risk being hit by them or other support vehicles. Extreme weather also poses a serious risk, because the ground staff is responsible for clearing the areas where airplanes land of ice or snow. These slippery environments can cause dangerous and damaging workplace accidents.
Taking necessary safety precautions
Safety precautions for airport staff are important. All ground staff typically must wear bright, high-visibility clothing and protective equipment, as well as receiving training on key safety procedures. Because the ground staff at airports deal with such complicated equipment and tools, a mistake by any worker, supervisor, or third party could pose a serious threat to workplace safety. Airport workers may experience spine or back injuries from falls, head or traumatic brain injuries from accidents, injuries to hearing or vision from their work environment, or a range of other catastrophic incidents.
Many workers may experience severe financial stress and worry in addition to the pain and immediate physical effects of an injury. Airport workers have a right to seek workers’ compensation for injuries suffered on the job, which could help them to receive the benefits they are entitled to under state law.