Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program<< Back to 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 pages editorial board.

  • Representatives from the Alliance worked with the Agency to update the OSHA Baggage Handling eTool and served on the tools 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 baggage.

  • 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 NSCs Congress and Expo:

    • November 8, 2006: National Safety Congress and Expo, San Diego, California, "Baggage Handling in Today's World"
    • September 21, 2005: National Safety Congress and Expo, Orlando, Florida, "NSC/OSHA/Airline Ergonomics Alliance"
    • 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, USDOL-OSHA.

Report prepared by: Lisa Ramber, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, February 7, 2007

* The Alliances 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