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FAA embraces safety policy shift in regards to cabin crews

Workers in specific industries require specialized hazard protections. For example, desk workers generally do not need to fear toxic exposure to potentially lethal chemicals. Individuals who work in hazardous factories may need substantial protective gear in order to avoid the kinds of toxins that desk workers would never dream of encountering.

One industry that works with specific and unique hazards is the airline industry. The kinds of work injuries that pilots and cabin crews risk everyday are often quite different than those risked by workers in other industries. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in order to devise a plan for improving worker safety within the airline industry

In particular, the FAA and OSHA recently drafted a final policy on keeping aircraft cabin crewmembers as safe on the job as possible. By working together, the FAA has become more effective at responding to certain work-related hazards affecting flight crews and OSHA has been empowered to enforce certain minimum workplace safety standards not within the FAA’s current jurisdiction.

The Secretary of Labor recently emphasized how a spirit of cooperation can help keep workers safe. He noted that, “This policy shows the strength of agencies working together and will enhance the safety of cabin crewmembers and passengers alike. It is imperative that cabin crewmembers have the same level of safety assurances they provide the public.”

Flight crews have previously been inadequately protected from blood-borne pathogen exposure, toxic exposure to hazardous chemicals and environments that can lead to severe hearing loss. The new FAA and OSHA policies will better ensure that cabin crews are better protected from these unique and specific dangers in the workplace.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration, “FAA Issues Policy to Improve Workplace Safety for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers,” Aug. 22, 2013

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