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OSHA recommends 4 ergonomic solutions to avoid ramp injuries for airline employees

Aircraft loading freight

Baggage handling is an important part of the modern air travel industry. As airline loads continue to increase, Illinois employees deal with more luggage on a daily basis. A Woodstock worker compensation lawyer can point to many cases in which airline workers are hurt or permanently disabled on the ramp. According to a recent report by CNN, the average number of checked bags per U.S. passenger on each flight increased from 0.67 in 2012 to 0.68 in 2013. Even a small increase of this kind means hundreds of additional bags to handle every week. Faster baggage processing often leads to more ramp injuries. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers four important ergonomic tips for airline employees.

Tip #1: Lift correctly

As checked luggage fees increase, passengers cram more clothing, gifts and souvenirs into each bag. Many checked bags weigh 50 pounds or more. Some heavy bags are irregularly or awkwardly shaped. It is important to lift all baggage with ergonomically correct techniques. Avoid twisting, lunging or lifting bags by their handles. Heavy bags can also be hazardous if they are allowed to drop from a height.

Tip #2: Avoid repetitive stress

A Woodstock worker compensation lawyer knows that many airline employees work long shifts with a minimum of breaks. Proper rest and alternation of duties is important for avoiding repetitive stress injuries. Avoid lifting bags exclusively with one hand or working for hours in an unchanged position.

Tip #3: Use correct beltloader technique

The beltloader is a crucial part of luggage handling. It is designed to convey bags from the cart into the luggage hold of the aircraft. To maximize its efficiency, pay attention to all of the following points:


  • Park the cart approximately three to four feet from the beltloader.

  • Place the cart end of the beltloader at an appropriate height for loading baggage.

  • Ensure that the bin end of the beltloader is placed directly at the height of the hold.

  • Minimize hanging straps and other hazards that may impede the belt.


By following these four steps, workers can decrease the risk of injury.

Tip #4: Label all heavy bags

Heavy luggage tags are important for worker safety. These colorful labels show the weight of heavy bags and increase employee awareness of the risk of back injury. Check-in staff should always warn their colleagues by labeling large bags with the correct weight.

The airline industry can be risky for ground personnel. Employees who have been injured on the job may want to consider talking to a Woodstock worker compensation lawyer.

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