Work-Fit helping American Airlines crew members stay safe and hydrated while on the job

- Working outside in the heat can be exhausting.

"Just imagine whatever we do, we do it in an oven," American Airlines Crew Chief Robert Deeb said.  

But working on Charlotte-Douglas International Airport's tarmac...

"The airplanes, the jet engines. Just add another 20 to 30 degrees and that's what we deal with," Deeb explained.

American Airlines told FOX 46 Charlotte, they brought in a program called Work-Fit. The program shows workers the best way to move bags and battle the elements.

"This is a very, very physical job, all aspects are physical and then you have the environmental issues with either the heat, the weather conditions," Work-Fit Physical Therapist Laura Sabatino said.

Before they go out on the tarmac, they have stretching sessions to help prevent serious injuries and remind people to keep an eye on each other during heat waves.

"Once someone is two to three percent dehydrated, it's just like being .08 alcohol blood level. So the reaction time slows down so you don't realize it,” Sabatino said.

Workers out on the tarmac can face a lot of issues from back sprains to dehydration. That's why American Airlines has hydration carts that come around to make sure that employees are staying hydrated and being safe in the heat.

"Just about every flight the truck drives by. They'll ask you if you want something, they'll even get it for you, a water or Gatorade, that way you don't have to stop working," Deeb said.

It's been in Charlotte for a year and crew members are definitely seeing the benefits of the program.

"I tore my shoulder a little bit. I went and saw them. Iced me, Biofreezed me. They rubbed it. In two days I was back to work," Deeb said.

"We are seeing it's preventing the bigger injures. If you catch it at the start, it helps so you don't get those bigger injuries," Sabatino said.

American Airlines is also in the process of building an outpatient clinic so that way employees can get treated for minor issues without having to be taken to a hospital.

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