Unions warn of mental workload of airport security staff
Unions are warning about the occupational risks faced by security workers at Spain’s airports.
Their alert follows the death of a woman employee at Palma airport following an altercation with a passenger. The tourist had tried to get back in through an unauthorised door after having a smoke outside and the security guard’s leg got caught. She died during an operation to rectify it.
The union USO says the tragedy should remind the employers of “the precarious situation in terms of the assessment and prevention of occupational risks” and an increase in work accidents in recent years.
“The death of this worker was caused by a psychosocial factor, the aggressiveness of the passenger,” claims the USO. “In the airport security sector, AENA has been deriving a greater workload from the airport’s security and services companies, which, in many cases, must assume a greater volume of work with the same personnel. This supposes a greater mental workload and an increase in the possibility of psychosocial risks for the workers.”
A statement from the union continued: “Psychosocial risks are one of the main factors of occupational diseases and they are capable of creating different musculoskeletal disorders and other psychosomatic symptoms due to stress arising in workers that appear over time. Currently companies are becoming aware of this type of risk and psychosocial evaluations are being carried out, through questionnaires made to workers, based on different methods.”
“From the USO, we believe that situations like this one could be avoided with a greater dialogue and better management with the appropriate means, through a more realistic assessment of the risks to which the worker is subject. As our campaign logan states: “Without evaluation, there is no prevention.”