Turbulence is an occupational hazard that we all take very seriously. Recently, our flying partners have confronted the dangers of turbulence on several flights around the system. Especially in light of these events, it is a good time to remember that every day we fly, when it comes to cabin safety, place yourself and your flying partners first. It is only through these efforts that we may fulfill our duties as safety professionals for the passengers in our care. To minimize injuries caused in turbulence or chop, stow all but the most necessary service components when the service is over, especially carts, full coffee pots, and glass bottles. Use of tie downs for carts is not only a federal regulation, diligent use of tie downs and latches will prevent disaster.
It may not always be possible to receive warning of turbulence or to return to your jumpseat when turbulence hits. FAOM pages 14.20.1-3 cover the precautions we can take against turbulence injuries starting with predeparture crew briefings through the actions we should take during turbulence. FAOM page 14.20.2. states that when we confront moderate chop to severe turbulence, in order to protect ourselves we must discontinue the service, set cart brakes, leave the cart at its present location and sit in the nearest available seat or on the floor, if necessary. If turbulence persists through descent and the prepare for landing announcement is made, the cockpit should direct Flight Attendants to remain seated and we should immediately advise the cockpit if the cabin and galley are not secured for landing.
As safety professionals we always work to protect against injury onboard the aircraft. In our mobile work environment, which is subject to extreme conditions such as turbulence, it is especially important that we maintain the process detailed in our FAOM for writing up cabin maintenance issues. When carpet is frayed, overhead bins won't close properly, galley floors are slippery, seats don't remain upright, lights are out or bins or carts need service the likelihood of crew or passenger injury increases. Maintenance reporting is detailed on FAOM pages 2.70.1.-6. We encourage all Members to confirm procedures with your FAOM and diligently report cabin maintenance. Look out for yourself and your crew -- be careful, be safe.