September 1, 2014

New OSHA standards may affect flight attendants

OSHA logo; OSHAThe Federal Aviation Administration has issued a proposed policy statement to establish the extent to which OSHA regulations may apply to flight attendants onboard an aircraft in operation.

An FAA-OSHA memorandum of understanding (MOU) previously established a team to identify factors to be considered when determining when OSHA standards may apply to employees on aircraft in operation.

Section 829 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 instructed the FAA to develop this proposed policy statement setting forth circumstances in which OSHA requirements may be applied to aircraft crewmembers.

The proposed policy statement, subject to amendment following a public comment period, says that because the FAA does not have regulations addressing certain issues, OSHA’s hazard communication, blood-borne pathogens and hearing conservation standards can be applied to the working conditions of flight attendants onboard an aircraft in operation.

The proposed policy statement defines an aircraft “in operation” from the time the first crewmember boards the aircraft to when the last crewmember leaves the aircraft after completion of the flight. The FAA notes that in another MOU, the FAA and OSHA will establish procedures that can be used to identify other conditions where OSHA requirements would apply while ensuring that such requirements would not negatively affect safety.

To read the proposed policy statement, click on the following link:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-07/pdf/2012-29631.pdf