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FAA finalizes safety policy for aircraft crew members

OSHA will enforce hazardous chemical, bloodborne pathogen exposures

airplane in flightThe FAA and OSHA have issued a final policy for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crewmembers.

While the FAA's aviation safety regulations take precedence, OSHA will be able to enforce certain occupational safety and health standards currently not covered by FAA oversight.

Aircraft cabin safety issues that fall under OSHA standards include information on hazardous chemicals, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and hearing conservation programs, as well as rules on record-keeping and access to employee exposure and medical records. The FAA and OSHA will develop procedures to ensure that OSHA does not apply any requirements that could adversely affect aviation safety. 

“It’s important that cabin crewmembers 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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. 

Through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Congress required the FAA to develop a policy statement to outline the circumstances in which OSHA requirements could apply to crewmembers while they are working onboard aircraft.

The policy will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. OSHA will conduct outreach and then begin enforcement activities after the first six months from the effective date.  The notice is available at www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/ashp/.

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