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OSHA To Oversee Cabin Crew Safety

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The safety of cabin crew in commercial aircraft has always been governed by the FAA, but under a new federal policy, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration now will have oversight over issues such as hazardous chemicals, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and hearing protection. “Our cabin crewmembers contribute to the safe operation of every flight each day,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We’re taking an important step toward establishing procedures for resolving cabin crew workplace health and safety concerns.” The FAA said it will work with OSHA to ensure that any new requirements will not adversely affect aviation safety. 

The new policy, which was published in August, was required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which took effect last year. “Safety is our number one priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "It's important that cabin crewmembers on our nation’s airlines benefit from OSHA protections, including information about potential on-the-job hazards and other measures to keep them healthy and safe.” The Association of Flight Attendants said it has been lobbying for OSHA protection since 1975, when the FAA claimed exclusive jurisdiction over workplace safety and health for all crewmembers while working on board commercial flights.

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