The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA fights exclusively to improve conditions that affect the safety, health and security of flight attendants. The AFA-CWA Air Safety, Health and Security Department (ASHSD) provides full-time staff support in Washington, DC for the AFA-CWA Safety Committee chairs and members and is responsible for solving problems that cannot be solved at the carrier level.
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Given worldwide concern with Ebola, a viral hemmorhagic fever that has killed thousands in Africa during the ongoing outbreak, authorities such as the CDC, OSHA, and WHO are providing ongoing updates and issuing guidance to various stakeholders. Below are several useful links to information that may help protect you, your families, friends, coworkers, and the traveling public.
CDC - Ebola Guidance for Airlines [see CDC’s Infection Control Guidelines for Cabin Crew Members on Commercial Aircraft for more information on practical measures cabin crew members can take to protect themselves, passengers, and others.]
CDC - Ebola Outbreak: Airport, Border, & Port of Entry Resources for Use by International Partners [includes an Entry Travel Health Alert Notice - Arriving from West Africa and a Travel Health Alert Notice - Plane or Airport Contact ]
OSHA - Ebola page, Flight Attendant/Cabin Crewmembers Health and Safety and Bloodborne Pathogens Standard factsheet (PDF)
US State Dept. - Ebola in West Africa
CDC - Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
CDC - Traveler's Health [While there is significant concern over the spread of Ebola, links to information on other current disease outbreaks are also listed on this page, including Polio, Chikungunya, Measles, Malaria, and Dengue (as of 7/30/14)]
Embassy of the United States Monrovia, Liberia - Messages for U.S. Citizens
Recent News Articles:
Obama: Ebola 'SWAT teams' to respond to infections - USA Today, October 15, 2014
Second Texas nurse tests positive for Ebola; woman flew home from Cleveland before falling ill, Associated Press, October 15, 2014
U.S. adds extra level of airport screening for Ebola - Associated Press, October 9, 2014
Obama Vow on Ebola Screening Means Plugging Airport Gaps - Bloomberg, October 7, 2014
Why Nation's Top Docs Say Ebola Won't Spread in US - Associated Press, October 6, 2014
Scores possibly exposed to U.S. Ebola patient; four isolated - Reuters, October 2, 2014
Man with Ebola flew roundabout trip to US - Associated Press, October 1, 2014
Ebola Is Diagnosed in Texas, First Case Found in the U.S. - NYTimes.com, September 30, 2014
CDC issues new Ebola warning for crews of U.S. airlines - Daily Mail Online, September 19, 2014
Ebola could infect 500,000 by end of January, according to CDC projection - The Washington Post, September 19, 2014
On behalf of Travelers' Health at CDC, attached is the latest information about MERS and links to get CDC’s updated information. CDC appreciates the help of airline crew in being vigilant about reporting to CDC ill travelers with possible MERS symptoms arriving from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula.
New protections are explained in AFA booklet
Enforcement of new protections in the aircraft cabin begins on March 26, 2014, six months after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) freed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to regulate the safety and health of crewmembers working on aircraft in operation.
AFA worked on multiple fronts for decades to secure these important safety and health protections for Flight Attendants on commercial aircraft, and has now published a detailed online booklet, The Rules Are Changing: How New OSHA Protections Will Affect You, to inform Flight Attendants about the changes.
Download: FAA OSHA booklet 20140326.pdf
In March 2014, the public health journal “Environmental Health” published the research findings of a flight attendant health study. The research identified higher-than-expected rates of (self-reported) chronic bronchitis and other pulmonary conditions, certain cardiac conditions, hearing loss, certain cancers, depression/anxiety, and sleep disorders among flight attendants when compared to the general US population. Some of these health conditions are more prevalent as tenure increases (e.g., higher rates of certain cardiac/pulmonary conditions after being on the job for longer). The study also identified what appear to be highly elevated rates of symptoms that could not be compared to the US population data, but were serious enough to require medical attention, including musculoskeletal pain and certain neurological symptoms (severe headache, numbness/tingling, memory loss, and lack of concentration).