You may not be able to notice it the next time you travel, but the men and women who serve to protect you in the event of an emergency are now protected, themselves. For nearly forty years, flight attendants had the protection of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) while they were on solid ground, but lost these protections as soon as they stepped onboard the aircraft.
Most of us are fortunate enough to only see flight attendants performing their customer service-oriented duties onboard an aircraft, from serving in-flight beverages to handling passenger issues. What we may not see is the other side of their job, from acting as first responders to medical emergencies to executing full-scale evacuations.
In a day that can include half a dozen flights or more, flight attendants can be exposed to blood-borne pathogens and other biohazards, extreme noise, and chemicals. Prior to the new agreement between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and OSHA, only the FAA was responsible for flight attendants’ safety onboard. Now, working condition jurisdiction is shared by both organizations.
For flight attendants, this can mean more comprehensive training and on-the-job injury reporting techniques. It can also mean that these reports may have an impact—an impact that you may notice as a passenger. If many flight attendants, for instance, are suffering from hearing loss or airborne illnesses, you could see a change in cabin noise panels or air filtration systems.
For a city whose two major airports act as a primary hub for two leading airlines, as well as domiciles for several other major and regional airlines, this is big news for the large population that was previously underrepresented in Houston on-the-job injuries.
Houston workplace injury attorney Steve Lee extends his congratulations to all Houston flight attendants that are now receiving these protections after years of hard work and dedicated lobbying. Mr. Lee represents injured Houston area workers, and his bilingual team of lawyers can be reached toll-free at 800-232-3711.
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