Flight attendants face an ever growing risk of serious back injuries, because of the improper handling of heavy bags. As the employees continue to preform heavy lifting, their injuries only become more pronounced.
Working conditions for flight attendants contribute to the high incidence of back injuries and the need for an airline workers compensation attorney. Flight attendants work in very confined spaces, without the room to maneuver properly, and they compensate for the lack of room by using incorrect lifting techniques. The dangers of bad techniques are amplified when flight attendants rush to place bags in bins. In addition, airlines rarely, if ever, provide flight attendants with the necessary safety equipment to lift and position the bags in overhead compartments.
The two most common back injuries for flight attendants are muscle strains and back sprains.
A strain occurs when a muscle is pulled or stretched further than normal. This kind of injury is most likely to happen through sudden, sharp movements or a single heavy lift. A strain inflames the other muscles and tendons in the surrounding area, and can create a region of pain that lasts for several days or weeks. Victims often notice the injury right away, due to the constant pain, even when the victim is at rest.
Unlike strains, a back sprain typically occurs as the result of repetitive motion, especially lateral movement from twisting. A sprain affects three major muscle groups throughout the back, but the most debilitating and common injuries for flight attendants are sprains to the lower back. The sprain may be accompanied by spasms and an inability to place weight on the victim’s legs and feet.
If left untreated, either condition can lead to long-term damage to the back and chronic pain. Any injury that persists for more than three days could be an indicator of a much more serious condition.
Workers Compensation Claims
An airline workers compensation attorney faces a series of unique challenges when seeking compensation for victims. One of the biggest challenges is finding the right location to pursue a workers compensation claim. Illinois law allows workers to seek compensation under the state’s worker-friendly statutes, as long as the place of hire is in the state, regardless of where the employee lives.
Experience is crucial for an airline workers compensation attorney, as the attorney coordinates with doctors, the workers compensation committee, and the airline union.