Arnaud lifts your heavy bag onto the plane: “Sometimes it weighs up to 32 kilos”

Arnoud tilt deze zomer misschien wel jouw koffer op de bagageband (foto: Eindhoven Airport).

The school holidays have started and that means crowds at Eindhoven Airport. Arnaud Verhagen, 46, works as a baggage handler at Viggo Airport. The baggage handlers had previously been warned that the work was very hard. That’s why Viggo is working hard to make Arnaud and his colleagues’ work easier. “It’s hard to lighten a heavy task in 1, 2, 3.”

During the summer, Eindhoven Airport expects between 19,000 and 25,000 passengers per day. The luggage of all these holidaymakers has to get on and off the plane. This is one of the tasks that Arnaud and his more than 230 colleagues have.

“It doesn’t look like one person is in the baggage hall or in the hold all the time,” he explains. “We make sure there’s a variety of tasks. The last thing we want is for someone to be lifting luggage on the tires at the bottom of the hold for a long time and have back problems the next day.”

This risk exists in handling luggage. I previously searched News hour For years there has been no proper supervision of the difficult working conditions of baggage handlers at Schiphol Airport. Therefore, a so-called cease and desist order has been imposed by the labour inspectorate on Figo and other handlers at Schiphol Airport. If they do not reduce their work, they will receive a fine of up to 65,000 euros.

“We got special bonds.”

According to Arnaud, a lot has changed at Eindhoven Airport since then. “We got special belts to help with lifting,” he says.

Eindhoven Airport has purchased three lifts to make it easier to move bags from baggage carts to the belts in the arrivals hall. In addition, other conveyor belts, called Powerstows, make it easier to lift luggage in and out of the baggage hold.

Lifting tools help make Arnaud's job easier (Photo: Eindhoven Airport).
Lifting tools help make Arnaud’s job easier (Photo: Eindhoven Airport).

According to Arnaud, it is also important that he and his colleagues have a wider range of tasks than just lifting bags. “We are also responsible for dealing with passengers and guiding people with disabilities through the ambullift“We direct aircraft to and from the aircraft deck. That way you can do something else if you’re lifting heavy bags and the work stays varied.”

Arnaud also has other duties besides working in baggage handling (Photo: Eindhoven Airport).
Arnaud also has other duties besides working in baggage handling (Photo: Eindhoven Airport).

Which is why he himself never suffered from any persistent physical complaints. “Sometimes you notice it in your back after lifting bags for a few hours, but I never had to stay home for it.”

Each aircraft carries between sixty and one hundred and twenty bags and suitcases in the hold. Viggo handlers never handle more than two hundred bags per day without tools. In addition, they never work in the hold for more than thirty minutes per day.

“The bag must go to the luggage storage.”

However, the baggage weight can sometimes be too high. “People are allowed to take a maximum of 23kg with them, but sometimes you come across a bag that weighs 32kg. Then the airline charges these people, but the bag still has to be put in the hold. We do it with two people.”

Despite this, Arnaud is not afraid of developing back problems one day. “Of course, sometimes you think you might develop complaints later in life, but fortunately, Viggo and the airport continue to innovate. It is difficult to lighten a difficult task in 1, 2, 3, but they are doing their best in all aspects to be better.”

You just have to be able to do it.
In the series of articles “You just have to be able to do it”, several people from Brabant talk about their own profession. They explain what they encounter in their work and what feedback they receive on their work.

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