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Airport Ground Crew Hit By Vehicles

Ground Crew Injuries at AirportsWorking on the tarmac of an airport in Chicago, especially one as large as O’Hare or even Midway, has definite risks.

There are several types of employees that make up the ground crew of an airport, from those unloading the baggage and cargo from planes to those working on the aircraft between flights.

Although there are many hazards from fumes to falls in the ground area of an airport, one of the biggest dangers is being hit by one of the many vehicles that are jetting in and around in the planes.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents airport workers injured in accidents with other ground vehicles. Contact our Chicago firm for a free review of your airport-pedestrian accident case. Our lawyers are truly invested in your success as we only charge a fee when we recovery compensation for you.

Vehicle Dangers In An Airport Apron Around Aircraft

An airport apron refers to the area where planes are parked to be loaded, unloaded and maintained between flights. While the planes are parked in the airport apron, ground crews quickly are running to and around the planes to re-fuel, do needed maintenance and unload or load the plane.

There are also employees driving vehicles quickly to, from and around these planes that pose a risk to those that are working on foot.

There are several types of vehicles that can be driving through an airport apron, both road vehicles and ground support equipment for loading and moving planes.

In a survey of accidents that caused 36 worker injuries in an airport apron, the most common vehicles to strike the workers were:

  • Tugs
  • Conveyors or loaders
  • Vans
  • Dollies
  • Trucks
  • Carts

There are specific dangers that these vehicles pose to ground workers. Time constraints tied to flight schedules create an urgency that are a factor in ground workers being struck by vehicles in the airport apron.

Drivers of the vehicles and equipment can be focused on their destination and job instead of looking for ground workers. In addition, these vehicles can have poor visibility, both due to their design and weather or light conditions.

Ground Crew Injuries When Struck By Vehicles

Although OSHA and the Airline Ground Safety Panel have specific rules and regulations regarding using ground support equipment, these drivers are in areas where normal road rules do not apply.

The apron is constantly buzzing with activity and changing with every plane that lands and departs. When coupled with the loud noise, lack of visibility and urgency of the job, drivers of these vehicles can inadvertently hit or back over another person working in the area.

According to a study of fatalities of apron workers for the Federal Aviation Administration:

  • 11 ground workers were fatally injured between 1985-2000  when struck by a vehicle
  • At least four fatalities occurred when the vehicle was backing up
  • Poor visibility, noise and inattention were listed as causes of the accidents

Due to the coding used by OSHA, it is difficult to say how many additional workers are non-fatally injured each year as being struck by vehicle is not individually coded. It can be estimated that over a hundred workers are injured when struck in this dangerous work zone every year.

As employers are required to provide a safe work environment for their employees, these injured workers have rights to compensation for their injuries under workers compensation in Illinois.

In certain circumstances, negligence of safety standards could result in other compensation through an worker injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Lawyers For Airport Workers Hurt In Accidents With Aircraft Support Vehicles

An accident at an airport involving a member of a ground crew struck by a support vehicle needs to be approached much differently than a traditional pedestrian accident.

An entirely different rules of the road applies to how vehicles and other support machinery are to be operated at an airport and on a tarmac. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is one of a select group of attorneys who has experience representing airport workers in incidents such as this.

Contact us now before you consider signing any paperwork from your union or employer. 888-424-5757

Learn more about the incident of airport ground workers involved in accidents with vehicles:
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