US flight attendant union hails OSHA, FAA move to improve safety, health

US trade union The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said it has hailed the release of US worker safety regulator OSHA´s Occupational Safety and Health protections for flight attendants working on commercial aircraft.

AFA said the move follows its longtime advocacy to improve safety and health standards for flight attendants in the workplace.

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalised a policy statement that corrects a nearly four-decade old exclusion of OSHA in the passenger cabin.

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.

This new 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, the union said.

A 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 said it 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.

Find out more at www.afacwa.org.

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