Flight attendants are confined to the cabins of various aircraft whenever they are working. This is why allegations of poor air quality in these cabins are both serious and alarming.
Luckily for flight attendants in Denver, and throughout the rest of the nation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration might soon be able to get involved and look into reports of these and other safety issues.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a draft policy statement that would allow OSHA to investigate claims of poor air quality in airliner cabins. Poor air conditions are linked to the presence of diseases and other pollutants. A representative from a union that includes over 50,000 flight attendants applauded the prospective policy change.
The quality of air within aircraft cabins is just one of the aspects of workplace safety that OSHA would help oversee.
Up until now, the FAA would not allow any sort of outside review of safety complaints. The organization handled all safety and health issues that concerned crews aboard their airliners. Representatives for the FFA released a statement that said its safety regulations would still override any OSHA policies, but administrators in the group would not comment directly to media.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress mandated that OSHA be given permission to oversee some working conditions for flight crews.
Ray LaHood, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, said that the changes would allow flight crews to report any injury or illness that stemmed from on-the-job duties, after which OSHA would launch a thorough investigation. The president of the Association of Flight Attendants praised the changes and said that passengers aboard airplanes would also reap the benefits.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “OSHA To Take On Role in Air Quality on Planes,” Andy Pasztor, Dec. 3, 2012
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