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Thursday, August 22, 2013

FAA Working on OSHA Standards for Flight Crews

Woodrow Bellamy III

FAA on Thursday proposed a final policy on improving occupational safety and health standards for commercial aircraft cabin crew members. 
The policy results from a provision in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which requires the agency to outline parameters under which Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards are applicable to flight crews while working onboard aircraft. Specifically, when the policy is finalized, OSHA's hazard communication and bloodborne pathogens standards will be applicable to flight crews. OSHA standards on promoting "hearing conservation" will also be applicable to crew members. 
Other cabin safety issues that fall under OSHA standards include regulations on access to employee medical records. FAA said its own aviation safety regulations will continue to take precedence, but OSHA will have authority to enforce standards that are not covered under FAA oversight.
"We’re taking an important step toward establishing procedures for resolving cabin crew workplace health and safety concerns," said Michael Huerta, FAA administrator. 

The agency is seeking comments on the proposed policy over the next month, and OSHA will begin enforcement activities in early 2014.  


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