New FAA, OSHA Policy Aims to Protect Aircraft Cabin Crew Members

New FAA, OSHA Policy Aims to Protect Aircraft Cabin Crew Members

OSHA will be able to enforce some safety and health standards not currently covered by FAA oversight.

The Federal Aviation Administration and OSHA have jointly issued a final policy for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crew members, agreeing to share enforcement in the skies. FAA's aviation safety regulations take precedence, but OSHA will be able to enforce certain safety and health standards FAAA currently does not cover.

"Safety is our number one priority, for both the traveling public and the dedicated men and women who work in the transportation industry," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "It's important that cabin crew members on our nation's airlines benefit from OSHA protections, including information about potential on-the-job hazards and other measures to keep them healthy and safe."

His DOL counterpart, Secretary Thomas Perez, said the policy "shows the strength of agencies working together and will enhance the safety of cabin crew members and passengers alike. “It is imperative that cabin crew members have the same level of safety assurances they provide the public."

The FAA news release said aircraft cabin safety issues that fall under OSHA standards include information on hazardous chemicals, exposure to bloodborne pathogens, hearing conservation programs, recordkeeping, and access to employee exposure and medical records. The agencies will develop procedures to ensure that OSHA does not apply requirements that could harm aviation safety. "Our cabin crewmembers contribute to the safe operation of every flight each day," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We're taking an important step toward establishing procedures for resolving cabin crew workplace health and safety concerns."

"We look forward to working with the FAA and through our alliance with the aviation industry and labor organizations to improve the safety of cabin crewmembers," said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA's assistant secretary.

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