Following an employee death, coworkers push for adequate safety

When people think of industries that pose the biggest threat to workers’ safety, one that may not immediately cross their mind is aviation. While flying can certainly pose risks to everyone on board, what about the workers who manage safety protocols on the ground and are actively loading and unloading aircraft? These workers in Massachusetts face unique risks as their job requires significant physical exertion, close contact with large machinery and potentially dangerous equipment and sometimes difficult visibility. 

In a recent accident at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, a worker was killed in what coworkers said was a preventable accident created by several factors including poor visibility. An investigation showed that the man was transporting luggage and turned quickly when he spotted a piece of luggage in his path. His sudden movement caused the vehicle he was operating to overturn and he was pinned underneath. His coworkers contend that had better lighting been installed, he may have seen the luggage before it turned into an unavoidable hazard. 

Experts say they are concerned about how long it took for the man to recognize that something was in his path, especially in an area where there is typically nothing on the ground. While officials are discussing plans to conduct research to improve the conditions at the airport, experts say the window of opportunity was missed and that type of investigation should have taken place before it cost someone their life. Surprisingly, only a small number of accidents that happen on the ground at airports are actually reported. 

If people have been hurt in a workplace accident, they can benefit from contacting an attorney to help them. Their efforts to acquire compensation for their injuries may be optimized with the help of a legal professional. 

Source: The Charlotte Observer, “‘Accident waiting to happen’: After death, airport workers want safety improvements,” Lauren Lindstrom and Hannah Smoot, Sept. 24, 2019


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