Nearly every passenger flight that departs from the airports in New York, and elsewhere, are staffed with flight attendants. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, having flight attendants on such flights is required by law. While performing their duties, which include providing routine services and responding to emergency situations that may arise in-flight, flight attendants are at risk of suffering injuries due to turbulence.
Turbulence is a type of air movement. It may be created by a number of factors, including jet streams, atmospheric pressure, thunderstorms, air around mountains or weather fronts. Often, turbulence occurs unexpectedly, which puts flight attendants at risk. In fact, 216 crew members were injured on turbulent flights between 2002 and 2013.
Unlike passengers, they may be moving around the cabin when flights hit turbulence, which may result in them being jolted, hurled into the air, or tossed onto passengers or seats. In some cases, these air movements may cause items, such as food or beverage carts, to be tossed around. Flight attendants may then be struck by these items.
As a result of turbulent flights, flight attendants may suffer a range of injuries. In addition to bumps, bruises and cuts, they may also sustain broken bones. Flight attendants also commonly suffer muscle strains, torn ligaments and other musculoskeletal ailments as a result of turbulence. In situations when they are thrown into a part of the aircraft or are struck by items that have become airborne, they may experience head trauma or crushing injuries.
Depending on the severity of their injuries, workers who are injured on turbulent flights may require medical treatment and time off of work to recover. Therefore, they may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.