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Los Angeles airport accident puts focus on worker safety

Airfield workers at commercial airports often must endure strenuous conditions in order to do their jobs. They may have to move heavy luggage for passengers. They can be constantly subjected to the roar of jet engines as planes take off and land. In short, they face the risk of injury on a daily basis. Workers’ compensation is a necessity for anyone injured on the job. This is especially true if an injury has long-term complications requiring extended periods of time away from the job or expensive rehabilitation.

Those living in Los Angeles may be aware of a fatal accident at the Los Angeles International Airport. This tragedy demonstrates the importance of employers making every effort to minimize the chance of workplace injuries by maintaining the highest possible safety standards.

State legislators are calling for committee meetings in an effort to gauge safety conditions for workers at airports in California. At a news conference, lawmakers declared their intent to oversee a wide-scale investigation of the airports.

One state official expressed that the hearings are to determine if the airports are suffering from systematic safety issues. Union officials also have expressed concern regarding airport safety.

The fatal accident at LAX involving a baggage handler is the impetus for the investigation. Accounts indicate the handler lost his life while driving a baggage truck. Apparently, he fell from the truck and was hit by another vehicle.

The baggage handler was working for Menzies Aviation USA Inc. at the time of his death. Union officials point to the fact that the company has been cited many times for safety lapses. Three times these lapses were classified as serious.

A good employer seeks to ensure a safe environment for its workers. They also see to it that should an injury occur, the employee receive their due workers’ compensation. However, some companies may delay action or try to avoid payments altogether. If injured on the job, you are legally entitled to recompense. Learning about workers' compensation laws could help obtain all the benefits you are owed.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Legislators want hearings into worker safety at California airports," Dan Weikel, March 14, 2014

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