Flight Attendant Union's Enduring Efforts For Safety And Health Protections In The Cabin Become Reality
August 22, 2013
AFA Commends OSHA, FAA for Finalizing Cabin Workplace Safety and Health Policy
Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today hailed the release of Occupational Safety and Health protections for Flight Attendants working on commercial aircraft. Following AFA's tireless advocacy to improve safety and health standards for Flight Attendants in the workplace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a policy statement that corrects a nearly four-decade old exclusion of OSHA in the passenger cabin.
"AFA looks forward to continuing our work with the FAA and OSHA to protect the safety and health of our nation's Flight Attendants, whose duties in the cabins of commercial aircraft subject them to potential workplace hazards, including noise, bloodborne pathogens, and toxic chemicals. AFA welcomes the opportunity, as the voice for Flight Attendants, to ensure full implementation of these critical protections," said Veda Shook, AFA International President. "AFA Flight Attendants have been forceful advocates for OSHA protections. We appreciate the efforts of FAA and OSHA to bring workplace safety and health standards into the cabin. This change will improve the working conditions of tens of thousands of Flight Attendants while benefiting the millions of passengers who travel on commercial flights every day."
In 1975, the FAA issued a notice claiming exclusive jurisdiction over workplace safety and health for all crewmembers, preventing OSHA from protecting Flight Attendants while working on board commercial flights. Since then, AFA has pursued multiple legal and regulatory solutions to extend OSHA safety and health protections to airline workers. Today's final policy statement resulted from years of aggressive AFA advocacy for inclusion of Flight Attendant safety and health protections, a memorandum of understanding signed between the FAA and OSHA during the Clinton administration, and follow through by the Obama administration. This final policy statement was issued after the FAA and OSHA thoroughly reviewed comments submitted by AFA, individual AFA members, and various industry stakeholders.
Moving forward, AFA will continue to work with the FAA, OSHA, and key aviation industry stakeholders to ensure that Flight Attendants are provided sufficient information to understand their rights to safe, healthy cabin workplaces, and that airlines comply with all relevant aspects of the applicable OSHA standards, including Flight Attendant training requirements.
The FAA/OSHA final policy statement will be posted later this week.
The Association of Flight Attendants is the world's largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.