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OSHA to enforce safety regulations on aircraft

On August 22, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new policy to make aircraft cabins safer for work crews. The policy grants OSHA the authority to enforce certain health and safety requirements not regulated by the FAA.

Developed in response to 2012’s FAA Modernization and Reform Act, the policy will go into effect 30 days after official publication. The Modernization and Reform Act requires the FAA to outline how and when OSHA standards apply to aviation crewmembers.

“Safety is our number one priority – for both the traveling public and the dedicated men and women who work in the transportation industry,” explained U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “It’s important that cabin crew members 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.”

Some cabin safety hazards that OSHA will regulate include chemical exposure, noise, and blood-borne pathogen exposure. Employers can help protect crew members from these risks by providing safety glasses or goggles, respiratory protection, gloves, hearing protection like ear plugs, and first aid supplies such as blood-borne pathogen protection kits.