Safety Activist Achievement Awards were presented to former Northwest Airlines Safety Chair and retired Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Jeanne Elliott and former US Airways Safety Chair Barrington Johnson at the 2015 BOD in Las Vegas.
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 - 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)]
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.
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).
In 2007, the FAA funded a Harvard School of Public Health research team to distribute a health survey to a large sample of our flight attendant members at two airlines. The response from our members was tremendous and the survey results highlighted a series of medical conditions that were notably elevated among flight attendants, as compared to a matched population of US nurses. Now, the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute is funding this same research team to re-survey the flight attendants who partciipated in 2007 (to monitor their health over time), so if you participated in 2007, expect an email/package in the mail! In addition, the researchers are inviting any flight attendant with any airline to volunteer to participate in the 2014 health survey. Did you participate in 2007, or are you Interested in joining the study now? Click here.
April 28, 2014 is Workers Memorial Day, an international day of mourning to remember those who have suffered and died on the job. It is also the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which went into effect on April 28, 1971. The AFL-CIO has a website that explains more about this special day and includes links to scheduled events/activities, explanatory materials and other media. This year's theme is "Safe Jobs Save Lives - Make Your Voice Heard" to highlight the need for stronger protections and the right of workers to speak out without fear of retaliation.
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2012 – In commemoration of the 101st anniversary of the deadly fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, the U.S. Department of Labor is encouraging the public to visit a special website featuring an audio tour optimized for smartphones documenting that milestone in labor’s history.
With audio narrated by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and other senior Labor Department officials, the website highlights 21 locations throughout the New York City metropolitan area that played a role in the March 25, 1911, fire. Users can read and hear about the events that led up to the fire, its victims and the aftermath.
The fire killed 146 workers and was an early tipping point in the struggle to ensure basic health and safety precautions in the 20th century workplace. “The tragic events of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and their impact over the last 100 years are reminders of the importance of the work of the Labor Department,” said Secretary Solis. “As we continue to ensure that every company takes responsibility for the safety and health of its workers, we must also remember that although much has improved over the last 100 years, the heartbreaking images from the fire are still relevant today.”
CWA Radio Ads Press Anti-Union Lawmakers to Pass FAA Funds
CWA launched radio ads this week targeting two U.S. House freshmen Republicans who are holding Federal Aviation Administration funding hostage unless their anti-union demands are met.
Congressmen Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.
A one-day Initial Air Safety, Health and Security Training has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at the UnitedMECOfficesBuilding in Rosemont, Illinois. Space is limited so please sign up your committee members as soon as possible.
Training begins at 9:00 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 5:00 p.m. The training will be held at the UnitedMECOfficesBuilding and sleeping rooms will be at the Aloft Chicago O’Hare. Both are minutes from the O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Transportation will be provided between the hotel and training. There is also a free airport shuttle to the hotel. You need to complete the RSVP form below to register for the class and to make a hotel room reservation.
The U.S. Homeland Security Committee Transportation Subcommittee invited AFA to testify at a hearing on Industry Perspectives: Authorizing the Transportation Security Administration for FY 2012 and 2013 on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. The only labor representative on the aviation panel, AFA testimony was given by AFA Air Safety, Health and Security Director Christopher Witkowski
Download: July 12_2011 House Testimony - FINAL.pdf
Washington, DC, May 23, 2011 – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President Veda Shook and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt kicked off the summer travel season today with some helpful tips to educate passengers on how to make air travel as safe as possible.
“As first responders in the cabin, a Flight Attendant’s foremost responsibility is to help protect the safety and security of our passengers. Through comprehensive training and extensive experience, Flight Attendants are well equipped to ensure passengers arrive at their destination safely and securely,” said Shook.
AFA and the FAA issued some helpful guidelines for passengers to keep in mind when flying this summer.Read Full Press Release>>
The Flight Safety Foundation has published an article on AFA-CWA's recent passenger carry-on items survey, "Bin There Done That," in the May 2010 issue of AeroSafety World magazine. The article is an excellent summary of the survey results and includes numerous AFA-CWA members' quotes describing the many hazards of the Carry-On Crunch
AFA-CWA attended a public hearing on March 31, 2010 to comment on OSHA's proposed revisions to its Hazard Communication Standard. We emphasized that our members need education and training to prevent exposure to chemicals, and also to know what to do if they are exposed and get sick. Also, manufacturers of products like engine oils and deicing fluids need to warn airlines/crewmembers of foreseeable exposures in the aircraft cabin and the attendant health risks. Currently, flight attendants lack the protections that the OSHA standard offers, and the OSHA standard is not tightly enforced. Click to read AFA-CWA's comments
A three-day Air Safety, Health and Security Intermediate Training has been scheduled for April 20 - 22, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. Intermediate training concentrates on building the skills necessary to be an informed and effective safety committee member or chair.The training will focus on the roles and responsibilities of safety committee members, general skillbuilding, database management of incident reports, overview of security issues and initiatives, understanding and working with the FAA, FAR interpretations, problem solving, and ways to enhance communications with your members.We will also be discussing the legislative process as it relates to the safety committee workplace safety relevant to first responders.The training is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 20 at and is scheduled to end on Wednesday, April 22 by .Please plan your flight schedule around these dates and times.
Space is limited so please sign up your committee members as soon as possible.Additional details and an RSVP form are available in both MSWord and PDF formats through the members-only Training Library section of this site.Attendance will be decided on a first-come, first served basis using the received date of the reservation.RSVP forms are due no later than Monday, March 29, 2010.
On October 5, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the signing of an Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR). This new rule's purpose is to "ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided to aircraft passengers and crew [by] providing air carriers with a feasible way to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs)." Potable water supplies on U.S. airlines are jointly regulated by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In accordance with the SDWA, EPA regulates water quality in public water systems, including those that supply water to the airports and the drinking water once it's onboard the aircraft. More information is available on our new Water and Sanitation page as well as the EPA Aircraft Drinking Water Rule page.
The following news was released by OSHA on September 4:
"The Department of Labor and three other federal agencies announced new guidance for employers to plan and respond to the upcoming flu season. The guidance, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides employers with help on preparing now for the impact that seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza could have on their workers and operations during the fall and winter. Plans should include encouraging workers with flu-like symptoms to stay home, allowing highly-susceptible staff to work from home and encouraging workers to get flu vaccinations."
Note: All current and previous AFA-CWA Air Safety, Health and Security Department updates regarding Novel H1N1 Flu are here.
The air you breathe in the aircraft cabin is supplied from the engines or APU and sometimes it gets contaminated with engine oils or hydraulic fluids that get heated to very high temperatures, often appearing as a smelly haze or smoke. That haze/smoke that enters the cabin air is a toxic soup and can contain carbon monoxide gas as well as chemicals that can damage your nervous system called tricresylphosphates (TCPs). Exposure to TCPs can initially cause stomach ache and muscle weakness, followed by delayed memory loss, tremors, confusion, and many other symptoms. For more information on the dangers of exposure, visit our air quality page. For information to give to your doctor, visit the OHRCA website and download the guide for medical providers. Also, it is important for you to know that University of Washington Professor Clem Furlong is in the final stages of developing a blood test that will enable crew and passengers to determine if they were exposed to TCPs on the aircraft. If you think you have been exposed, it is important to get your blood sent to his lab as soon as possible because that information will assist your doctor if you need medical help post-exposure and will benefit your workers' compensation case. For more information, email judith@AFAseattle.org. Prof. Furlong's research is being funded by crewmember unions, including AFA-CWA, and King 5 News in Seattle recently ran an exclusive story. Also, in April 2008, the BBC highlighted the dangers of breathing contaminated aircraft air on its news program, "Panorama."