Labour unions support FAA proposal to extend OSHA protection to cabin crew

Washington DC
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US airline labour unions have supported a proposed policy by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to extend the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements to flight attendants.

The proposed policy, first published on 7 December 2012, would allow flight attendants to report workplace injury and illness complaints to OSHA if implemented.

In comments filed with the FAA today, the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) expresses its support of the proposed policy.

Saying that the proposed policy will close a policy loophole, the TTD's president Edward Wytkind says: "Flight attendants, who play a critical role in aviation transportation and ensure the safety of countless passengers each day, have too often been exposed to a harmful workplace environment that has resulted in injury rates far exceeding industry norms."

He adds: "In reality, the FAA has not adequately regulated occupational health and safety and going forward OSHA is significantly better positioned to meet this responsibility."

Some of the occupational safety issues that could be covered by OSHA regulations include noise exposure and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

The TTD represents 31 members unions in the US whose members are employees in the transportation industry.

The comment period for the FAA's proposed policy closes today, following an extension from the original deadline of 7 January. The FAA said earlier it had received requests from various trade associations, including the Regional Airline Association and Airlines For America, requesting for an extension of the comment period.