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Understanding Tarmac Worker Injuries


Airlines and airports must employ a wide range of workers in order to function properly, from employees who perform jobs on the ground at airports to those who are tasked with duties onboard an aircraft, including flight attendants and pilots. While all of these jobs come with certain risks and can result in workplace injuries for which the injured employee may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits, it is important to know that some types of airline and airport injuries are especially hazardous. According to a recent investigative report in the Wall Street Journal, tarmac workers are exposed to a starling array of hazards on the job, and many sustain injuries that airlines and airports may not be addressing properly.

What do you need to know in order to understand tarmac worker injury risks? Our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys can provide you with more information, and we can speak with you today if you were injured on the job and need assistance filing a claim.

Tarmac Worker Injuries Are Serious and Common

 The report in the Wall Street Journal highlights how tarmac workers (i.e., ground workers at airports who perform jobs on the tarmac) are sustaining severe and deadly injuries at shocking rates, and these injuries are clearly preventable. The report cites the recent death of a 34-year-old tarmac worker who was sucked into the engine of a jet on the tarmac and died instantly from her devastating injuries. The largest fine that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could issue was just over $15,000. And since 2019, data shows that airline worker injury rates have risen by about 17 percent, and for tarmac workers, the injury rate has risen by about 64 percent.

Following on the details discussed in the Wall Street Journal report, CNN recently highlighted how even the nonfatal injuries among tarmac workers are severe, frequently resulting in permanent and serious disabilities. That CNN reported underscored that OSHA has also cited a “spike” among tarmac worker injuries at airports across the country.

Common Types of Tarmac Worker Injuries

 What types of injuries tend to occur among tarmac workers? While there are a wide range of possible injuries, the following have been cited clearly in recent years:

  • Falls from machinery that result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries;
  • Struck-by or caught-in/between injuries when aircrafts collide;
  • Falling containers or baggage that cause limb-crush or traumatic amputation injuries; and
  • Being sucked into jet engines.

What is causing these injuries? The Wall Street Journal report suggests that it is a lack of appropriate and up-to-date safety regulations, and airlines and airports “putting profits ahead of worker safety.”

Contact Our Maryland Airline Employee Injury Lawyers 

Any airline or airport employee who has sustained injuries on the job should get in touch with an experienced Maryland airline employee injury attorney at the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC to find out more about eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Whether you are employed at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) or at another smaller airport in the area, you could be eligible for Maryland workers’ compensation benefits. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case and your options for seeking compensation.


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