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Airline Industry

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Standards

State Standards

There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

This section highlights OSHA standards and other federal standards related to the airline industry.

OSHA

Frequently Cited Standards for Airline Employers

OSHA maintains a listing of the most frequently cited standards for specified 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Please refer to OSHA's Frequently Cited OSHA Standards page for additional information. For Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation use NAICS code 481111 in the NAICS search box.

Applicable Standards to Flight Attendants and Cabin Crewmembers

In 2014, OSHA coordinated a joint policy with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crewmembers. Under a memorandum of understanding, OSHA now enforces certain standards for cabin crewmembers (e.g., flight attendants), but not flight deck crews, and only while they are onboard aircraft in operation. While the FAA's aviation safety regulations take precedence, OSHA enforces the following standards:

Other OSHA requirements that have always applied to all employees, including airline cabin crew, include OSHA's regulations on recordkeeping, access to employee exposure and medical records, and the anti-discrimination requirements under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act. The anti-discrimination provisions of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century ("AIR 21"), 49 U.S.C. § 42121, also apply to all air carrier employees.

Other Federal

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • FAA’s Aviation Safety & Health Program (ASHP). This webpage includes FAA’s policy, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers, August 21, 2013.
  • Federal Register notice announcing the final policy regarding the regulation of some occupational safety and health conditions affecting cabin crewmembers on aircraft by OSHA, August 27, 2013.

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

  • 14 CFR 139, Certification of Airports. Government Publishing Office. This is part of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR). Specific areas of interest for the airline industry may include:
    • 139.1, Applicability. Requires the FAA to issue airport operating certificates to airports that serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier aircraft with more than 30 seats or that the FAA Administrator requires to have a certificate.
    • 139.101, General requirements
    • 139.203, Contents of airport certification manual
    • 139.205, Amendment of airport certification manual
    • 139.321, Handling and storing of hazardous substances and materials
    • 139.329, Pedestrians and ground vehicles
State Standards

There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

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