Cabin crew group welcomes OSHA on board

Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:59 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The president of the Association of Flight Attendants says U.S. flight crews and passengers would benefit from a proposed regulatory switch.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have proposed sharing responsibility for work safety issues for cabin crews in flight.

The proposal is open for 30 days for public comment, CNN reported Saturday.

Previously, OSHA kept its feet on the ground with jurisdiction over planes on runways, but not in the air.

The proposed switch, "is a validation that the aircraft cabin is our workplace. Any enhancement for flight attendants would also be an enhancement for passengers," who share the same environment, said Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

CNN said sharing the regulatory responsibility would give OSHA the chance to investigate issues involving airborne pathogens within a plane's cabin. It could also create a consistent training policy regarding bleeding passengers, which is now left up to each airline.

An airline industry group, however, had a negative reaction to the proposal.

"Airlines for America believes that expanding the regulatory process across multiple agencies is unnecessary, creates conflicting regulatory authority and a host of logistical problems throughout the industry," said Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for the industry group.

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