Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Flight Attendants to Find Safer Skies

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Flight Attendants to Find Safer Skies

Article excerpt

After years of resistance, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has agreed to work with OSHA to improve the working conditions of flight attendants while aircraft are flying.

In a brief ceremony Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C., OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress and FAA Administrator Jane Garvey signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that begins the process of applying OSHA standards to flight attendants.

"We believe that a number of OSHA rules will be applicable during aircraft operation, and both airlines and flight attendants will benefit," Jeffress said.

The MOU was welcomed by labor unions representing flight attendants, which have been pressing FAA and various administrations to take this step for 25 years. Many union representatives were present at the ceremony, wearing "OSHA NOW" T-shirts.

"People never wear 'Hooray! OSHA' shirts," Jeffress joked.

Until recently, FAA resisted OSHA intrusion onto its turf, citing fears that aviation safety could be compromised.

Jeffress and Garvey denied the election-year move was taken to help presidential candidate Al Gore win more union votes. "We've been working with the FAA for 18 months on this issue," Jeffress said. …

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