Flight attendant unions at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines applauded new government proposals to ensure workplace safety on airplanes.
The Transport Workers Union, which represents flight attendants at Southwest, said a proposal to give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight on issues such as cabin noise levels and blood-borne pathogens threats will make air travel safer.
"Moving luggage and equipment in a small confined space, and sharing a limited air supply with hundreds of travelers, creates exposure risks for our members," said TWU local 556 president Stacey Martin on Monday. "Getting OSHA and the [Federal Aviation Administration] on the same page is a huge step in the right direction."
The proposals, unveiled last week, will give OSHA the ability to enforce workplace health and safety standards not currently covered by the FAA, unions said.
"APFA has been pushing for these workplace protections for many years and we’re looking forward to incorporating them into our union’s safety culture," said Association of Professional Flight Attendants president Laura Glading, who represents flight attendants at American.
Public comments will be accepted by the government after the proposals from OSHA and the FAA are published in the Federal Register.