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Common Workplace Hazards Baggage Handlers Face


Baggage handlers play a crucial role at airports and other transportation terminals. Their main duties include loading and offloading luggage onto aircraft or other modes of transportation, sorting baggage, and transporting baggage to storage areas. Like other workers, baggage handlers face numerous hazards when on the job. It is vital for both employers and employees to understand these hazards. Understanding the common workplace hazards baggage handlers face can help prevent accidents and injuries. By understanding these hazards, employers and employees can take proactive measures to mitigate or eliminate these risks, ensuring a safer work environment. Below, we discuss some of the most common workplace hazards that cause baggage handlers to suffer injuries.

Heavy Lifting

One of the workplace hazards baggage handlers face is lifting and moving heavy and bulky luggage. Lifting and moving heavy and bulky luggage can result in back injuries, strains, sprains, and other serious injuries.

Repetitive Motion

Baggage handlers perform several repetitive tasks, such as lifting, pushing, and pulling luggage. Repetitive tasks can result in repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). According to the Cleveland Clinic, RSIs occur when the muscles, tendons, or nerves suffer damage due to repetitive motions and constant use. Baggage handlers can develop several types of repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls among baggage handlers can happen for, among others, the following reasons;

  • Wet or slippery surfaces
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Poor lighting
  • Improper footwear
  • Weather conditions
  • Obstacles and clutter


Airports can be extremely noisy. Prolonged exposure to high noise levels can lead to hearing impairments. While wearing protective equipment, such as earplugs, can reduce the risk, regular exposure to high noise levels can have devastating consequences.

Exposure To Extreme Weather Conditions

Baggage handlers often work outdoors, which means they are constantly exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold. Extreme heat can result in heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat rash, or dehydration. On the other hand, extreme cold can result in hypothermia, respiratory issues, and many other serious issues.

Exposure To Hazardous Materials

Chemicals used in baggage handling can pose a serious threat to baggage handlers. Examples of chemicals baggage handlers come into contact with that may be harmful include de-icing agents, cleaning agents, pesticides, and fuel. The chemicals that baggage handlers come into contact with while on the job can result in issues such as skin irritation, eye irritation, and respiratory problems.

Vehicle and Equipment Accidents

Baggage handlers often work near moving vehicles and heavy machinery, such as baggage trolleys and conveyor belts. Baggage handlers are at risk of being hit by vehicles or moving machinery. Being caught in machinery is also another significant risk that baggage workers face.

Dangerous Equipment

The machines baggage handlers work with can also cause accidents if they are not properly maintained. For example, a defective conveyor belt can suddenly stop or jam, resulting in abrupt movements or unexpected shifts in the luggage, causing a fall or the worker being trapped.

Legal Help Is Available

Are you a baggage handler who’s been injured on the job? You may be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. At Sluka Law PLC, our skilled Vermont workers’ compensation attorney can help you with your legal claim.



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