Articles Posted in Worker Comp Blog

Scores of injury claims for flight attendants are not filed every year due to lack of information, lack of perseverance and mostly due to fear. Flight attendants get hurt on the job. Whether due to turbulence, lifting heavy bags, pushing carts, ground transportation and layover accidents or repetitive trauma, injuries for flight attendants are common. Whether you call it an “occupational,” “IOD” (injury on duty), job injury or workers’ compensation claim, your rights as an injured worker are established by law. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act provides benefits for the injured, including medical expenses, lost income protection through weekly payments known as Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and compensation for permanent partial and total disability known as a “settlement” or “award.” The Illinois Workers Compensation Act is a no-fault system, which means the flight attendant need not prove their employer did anything unsafe or wrong to be eligible for benefits. These benefits are in place for the injured to get the help they need to recover from the injury and minimize the hardships that may result from the injury. Illinois workers compensation is the best benefit available to UAL flight attendants injured on the job.

Many United Airline flight attendants based or domiciled outside of the United States in London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Narita and Guam deprive themselves of these benefits by not filing a workers compensation claim in Illinois when injured.

There is nothing to fear. Some flight attendants tell us they will not pursue a claim when injured because they are afraid they will be fired from their job. It is illegal to fire, harass or retaliate against an employee for filing an occupational claim or hiring an attorney to pursue it. Additionally, the union contract between the AFA and United Airlines protects against United Airlines terminating the flight attendant’s employment. Our firm has successfully helped United Airline flight attendants injured on the job for over 50 years. We have represented many internationally domiciled flight attendants including United-AFA union, MEC and LEC officers.

airline workers compensation attorneyFlight 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.

The Problem

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 agricultural industry has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States throughout the last decade. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, each day, more than 200 agricultural workers in America suffer work related injuries that are so severe that they must miss work. An alarming five percent of those injuries result in permanent impairment, and unfortunately, many agricultural workers lose their lives to agricultural related injuries.

Between 2003 and 2011, approximately 5,800 agricultural workers in the United States lost their lives to injuries that were work related. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 568 agricultural industry deaths occurred in 2014 alone, accounting for a full 12 percent of all work related fatalities across the nation that year. These disturbing statistics are not all-inclusive, however, because many farm related deaths are not reported. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is only required to monitor workplace safety on farms that have more than 10 employees, so a comprehensive farm-fatality database is unavailable.

(article continues below infographic)

pCasketWithBearers_Dollarphotoclub_52978072-300x200Working in and around airplanes can be a dangerous occupation. Some of the most common hazards include head injuries, crushing injuries, serious musculoskeletal damage and exposure to infectious diseases. In a recent case, an American worker was killed when an air bag inflated unexpectedly during the construction of a Boeing 777 airliner.

This tragic accident was only one of hundreds that occur among aviation professionals every year. Many Chicago employees in the air transport industry must face the consequences of serious disability, often requiring the help of a personal injury attorney to rebuild their lives.

Air bags are designed to help, not to harm


According to the Federal Aviation Administration, more than 85,000 flights take off and land in America every day. Commercial airplanes often fly multiple times per day, carrying many loads of passengers. Like hotel rooms, restaurants and other enclosed spaces, these planes must be cleaned regularly.

Airline passengers are often unaware of this important task of cleaning as they rush from one flight to another. For some Chicago residents, cleaning planes can be a life-threatening task, as they may discover if they speak with a workers’ compensation attorney. Recent news stories and studies show that airplane cabin cleaners are often exposed to dangerous substances, including dirty needles, pathogens and human feces.

Hazardous areas for airplane cleaning crews

Muscular Man with BackacheAn employee with DHL Airways, Inc., was working with a baggage loader in the early morning in June 2000. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employee had unknowingly positioned his foot under the edge of the loader. The operator turned on the machine, lowering the frame and crushing the employee’s foot. The employee was hospitalized for his injuries.

An airplane injury attorney would know that belt loaders, while increasing efficiency on the job, can also increase the risk of an unfortunate incident. Those who work in the industry should be aware of the potential hazards associated with the equipment.

A belt loader overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 7.5 cases of nonfatal occupational injuries per every 100 employees in the air transportation industry. The agency reports that 5.5 of those cases will result in missing time from work, having to perform the job in a restricted fashion or getting transferred to a new job.

(Article continues below Infographic)

Air travel safety tips

As any airline workers compensation attorney would know, there are a number of hazards facing those who work in air transportation. One of those involves operating baggage tugs and carts. By understanding the potential dangers involved, workers can hopefully avoid a serious injury.

Portrait Of Delivery Driver With ClipboardMany people may not realize just how dangerous working on the tarmac at an airport can be. Unlike vehicle traffic on the nation’s roadways, getting airplanes ready for travel can be disorderly and poorly maintained. An airplane accident attorney understands that this may contribute to workers being involved in accidents.

One significant source of accidents on the tarmac come from ground vehicles. These large trucks are usually tasked with preparing a plane for flight. This can include such tasks as unloading and loading baggage, taking workers to and from a plane, and restocking a plane with necessary supplies and equipment. All of these vehicle must work in harmony and under strict safety rules, or deadly accidents can occur. Workers must often be hyper-vigilant in preventing accidents. Those who want to reduce their chances of being involved in a ground vehicle-related accident should consider the following tips:

Remove all distractions

Pilot and stewardesses by planeAirport tarmac workers can face incredibly dangerous conditions while on the job. Despite the accidents and deaths that occur in these occupations, few airports or airlines offer proper airline injury compensation for the damages these workers often sustain. When the accidents prove fatal, families may be left reeling and without the income that they need to survive.

This is exactly what recently happened to a LaGuardia Airport worker and his family. The NY Daily News reports that the 40-year-old man usually worked as a minimum wage airport cleaner, but was often ordered to work on the tarmac directing the water trucks that bring water to the planes. He repeatedly asked to be reassigned because of how dangerous the work is, but his requests went unanswered.

Shortly thereafter the man was struck and pinned between a water truck and a jet. The accident killed the worker but the airline has offered to pay for nothing other than funeral expenses. The airline was fined by the Federal Aviation Administration for hazards at the worksite. He had three children, who now stay with their grandmother.

AircraftThe runway is an exciting but hazardous place to work. Airport employees need a full range of safety equipment to stay visible and protected in the ramp environment. Planes are built for flight, not for runway maneuvers. They are unwieldy and may be hard to control when they are on the ground. Every Illinois airlines workers’ compensation attorney knows that a collision with a taxiing aircraft can be instantly fatal for a worker on or near the runway.

A recent fatality in Las Vegas

A recent incident at the Las Vegas airport underscores the danger of ground contact with planes. A passenger jet collided with a ramp employee during pushback in inclement December weather. The 31-year-old ramp employee suffered severe injuries and missed more than six months of work.