By Brent I. Clark and Meagan Newman

Today, the FAA, working in conjunction with OSHA, issued a final policy for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crew.  The new FAA regulations will take precedence over OSHA regulations that cover the same or similar hazards, though some OSHA regulations will continue to apply.

“This policy shows the strength of agencies working together and will enhance the safety of cabin crewmembers and passengers alike,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.  “It is imperative that cabin crewmembers have the same level of safety assurances they provide the public.”

Aircraft cabin safety issues that will continue to be regulated by OSHA 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.

For cabin crew, OSHA’s anti-discrimination provision will continue to apply.  The FAA/AIR21 anti-discrimination provision will continue to apply to all air carrier employees.

The policy, published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2013 (78 FR 52848), takes effect September 26, 2013.