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Airline Industry and the National Safety Council
(NSC), International Air Transport Section
On November 12, 2002, OSHA, thirteen airlines* and the National Safety Council (NSC), International
Air Transport Section formed an Alliance to use the organizations collective expertise to help
advance a culture of prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge, especially in
the area of ergonomics and the issues related to handling passenger checked baggage. The Alliance
agreement was renewed April 21, 2004; May 31, 2005; and June 14, 2006.
Because the airlines and NSC's International Air Transport Section have decided to focus their
resources on other projects and priorities, OSHA, the airlines and the NSC agreed to conclude the
Alliance as of November 12, 2006. Through working to meet the agreement's goals, a number of
successes resulted from the OSHA and Airlines Industry Alliance, including:
- Representatives from the Alliance worked with the Agency to develop the OSHA Airline Industry
Safety and Health Topics page and served on the page’s editorial board.
- Representatives from the Alliance worked with the Agency to update the OSHA Baggage Handling eTool
and served on the tool’s editorial board.
- The Alliance's airline representatives developed the Ergonomics for Baggage Handlers Training
Manual for aviation industry baggage handlers on how to handle large volumes of passenger checked
baggage safely and reduce the chance for injuries on the job. The manual covers a number of issues
including: identifying and reducing risk factors and the proper body mechanics for handling checked
- The Alliance's airline representatives developed and published a pamphlet, "A Guide to Packing for
Business and Personal Travel," in English and Spanish. The document has information, in a question
and answer format, to help educate airline passengers on how to properly pack their baggage to avoid
muscle strains and pulls.
- Lee Anne Jillings, Director, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, Directorate of Cooperative
and State Programs, USDOL-OSHA, and airline representatives from the OSHA and Airline Industry
Alliance presented the following workshops during the NSC’s Congress and Expo:
- November 8, 2006: National Safety Congress and Expo, San Diego, California, "Baggage Handling in
- September 21, 2005: National Safety Congress and Expo, Orlando, Florida, "NSC/OSHA/Airline
- September 13, 2004: National Safety Congress and Expo, New Orleans, Louisiana, "OSHA/Airline
Industry Alliance Update"
- September 10, 2003: National Safety Council Congress and Expo, Chicago, Illinois, "OSHA/Airline
Ergonomic Alliance for Baggage Handling"
- On May 24, 2006, the OSHA and Airline Industry Alliance held an Aviation Industry Workshop in
Dallas, TX. The workshop discussed the challenges, successes and solutions regarding handling
baggage and other packages in the transportation industry.
- On March 6, 2006, Lee Anne Jillings, Director, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances,
Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, USDOL-OSHA, and a representative from the OSHA and
Airline Industry Alliance presented “OSHA and the Airline Industry's Successful Ergonomics Alliance”
during the 9th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference in Orlando, Florida.
- On June 4, 2003, a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Seminar was hosted by Delta Air Lines at
its Technical Operations in Atlanta, Georgia. Representatives from 16 airlines, including American,
Jet Blue, United and US Airways, 12 ground-support business partners and other industries attended
the meeting. During the seminar, OSHA staff made a number of presentations including then-Assistant
Secretary John Henshaw, USDOL-OSHA; Paula O. White, Director, Directorate of Cooperative and State
Programs, USDOL-OSHA; and Lee Anne Jillings, Director, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances,
Report prepared by: Lisa Ramber, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services
and Alliances, February 7, 2007
* The Alliance’s airline signatories:
- Air Canada
- Airtran Airways
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- American Trans Air
- America West Airlines
- Continental Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Jetblue Airways
- Midwest Express Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- U.S. Airways