Ramp Agent Injuries: My Personal Journey
I fully understand the challenges of the ramp agent job. I was a ramper for more than 38 years.
At Ramper Innovations, we are passionate about finding ways to make the physically-demanding job of loading and unloading aircraft safer and easier for ramp agents. This commitment launched the creation of TISABAS, our compact motorized conveyor system that mechanically moves baggage and cargo in the belly. We believe safety is so important that it is part of every product conversation as we continually look for ways to protect vulnerable backs, knees and shoulders from injury. At the same time, we seek to make the job of loading and unloading more efficient.
I fully understand the challenges of the ramp agent job. I was a ramper for more than 38 years and personally experienced the problems and the pain. My first back injury – one that required time away from work — occurred after only 6 months on the job when I was 18 years old. Before this injury, like many 18-year-olds, I thought I was invincible. That was the day I realized I was not.
Following that incident, job time losses began to accrue due to more back issues. I was not overly concerned until the day I was unable to hold up my foot. The severity of the injury finally hit home. It was time to investigate surgery which seemed unavoidable.
I woke one day and, although still in pain, could miraculously lift my foot again. Although many years have passed, I continue to deal with the impact of the injuries today. Pain is consistent even when doing simple tasks such as getting out of the car or standing up from a chair. Two shoulder surgeries were also necessary to repair the damage caused by twisting and throwing heavy luggage and cargo the length of the belly, exacerbated by the low-clearance environment. Needless to say, quality of life has been severely impacted by the initial injury at age 18 plus the cumulative physical stresses from years in the job.
My situation is not unique. When thinking about the many ramp agents with whom I’ve worked with during my career (and there have been a lot), there is only one who did not have an injury. That is an astonishing percentage even in my limited sample. At Ramper Innovations, we’re committed to reversing those statistics and helping ramp agents be injury free. We’re motivated by it every day.