Injury and Illness Rates among Flight Attendants Keep Soaring

Flight attendants deal with a variety of stressful situations on the job. From demanding adults to airsick children, they must  resolve conflicts and find creative solutions to keep passengers safe in the air and satisfied with their service. Unfortunately, flight attendants still face a much higher level of risk than other workers.

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Injury and Illness Rates

In an attempt to make working conditions safer, unions raised concern about the alarmingly high rates of recordable injuries and illnesses as early as 2000. At that time, injury rates among airline workers were above 10%, higher than industry rates for mining, construction, and agriculture. Despite years of work to reform the industry, injury rates remain much higher for flight attendants than workers in other industries.

The Sky is a Dangerous Place to Work

According to the latest complete numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, air transportation workers may need to consult a flight attendant workers compensation attorney more often than workers in other industries. While air transportation workers suffer an injury rate of 7.6%, other industries that may seem more dangerous are not.  For example the recordable incidence rate for the following industries are lower than those for flight attendants:

  • Forestry and logging
  • Textile mills
  • Wood product manufacturing
  • Truck transportation.

It is a surprise that flight attendants face greater risks on the job than a truck driver or a logger operating heavy machinery, but that is the reality. In addition to irregular schedules and contact with thousands of people’s germs each day, airline attendants face the risk of turbulence and falling luggage with every flight. It is not an incredible surprise then, that recordable incidents for air transportation workers run more than double the average for all private industry.

The airline industry has been cited multiple times in recent years for violations that put passenger safety at risk. These included potentially deadly incidents of preventable engine failure and smoke in the cockpit. Airline flight attendants face all of these same risks and more due to their constant exposure to on the job risks. Despite years of advocacy by trade groups and unions, many air transportation workers still need the assistance of a flight attendant workers compensation attorney.