Flight Attendants Want OSHA Onboard

The Association of Flight Attendants is having a press conference today where its members will speak about the hazards surrounding their jobs.

Flight attendants and their allies from the labor movement, women's organizations and the medical community are calling on the Clinton Administration to provide flight attendants with OSHA coverage.

At a press conference today at AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, D.C. injured flight attendants from the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) will speak about the hazards surrounding their jobs.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates aviation safety, has largely ignored the occupational safety and health issues of the predominantly female flight attendant workforce.

Flight attendants say they suffer injuries related to operating poorly designed food and beverage carts, slipping on galley floors, handling heavy carry-on baggage and falling on icy walkways.

They are concerned about radiation exposure and possible exposure to HIV and Hepatitis since flight attendants must provide in-flight emergency medical treatment including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Other speakers scheduled for the press conference include AFA President Pat Friend, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario, Washington Hospital Center Director of Occupational Medicine Laurie Welch and Aviation Consumer Action Project Director Paul Hudson.

On Dec. 10, 1999, members of the AFA testified in front of an FAA panel that the protections offered to most workers by OSHA should apply to cabin crews as well.

The AFA is a labor union representing more than 46,000 flight attendants at 26 airlines.

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