OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
November 12, 2002
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Includes 13 airlines and National Safety Council to
promote safe handling of checked baggage
WASHINGTON -- A collaborative working relationship designed to further protect workers in the airline industry was cemented today when OSHA signed an Alliance with a group of 13 airlines and the International Air Transport Section of the National Safety Council, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw announced.
OSHA and the airlines agreed to share best practices and technical knowledge, focusing on ergonomics. Ergonomic issues related to the handling of passenger checked baggage will be addressed by exploring methods of promoting communication, outreach, training, education and a national dialogue.
"This Alliance provides us a great opportunity to advance a culture of injury and illness prevention among workers in the airline industry," said Henshaw. "By law, employers are responsible for the safety and health of their workers. It is our job to ensure that employers keep their workplaces safe. This Alliance is the beginning of what I hope will be a continuing relationship with the airline industry that is focused on results - worker safety and health."
The Alliance consists of the following companies: Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Trans Air, America West Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Express Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways.
Over the next year, OSHA and the participants will review ways to improve OSHA's e-tool and conduct a one-day seminar for participating airlines and other interested aviation participants on OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs. Plans also call for a seminar with the airlines and OSHA personnel to discuss ergonomic issues, solutions and limitations related to handling passenger-checked baggage.
The Alliance participants will discuss ideas for ergonomic improvement associated with handling of checked baggage during a national safety-related conference and possibly other venues. Finally, OSHA and the Airline Group will develop a biomechanics-training module for workers who handle checked baggage and make that module available free-of-charge to all airlines.
A team of Alliance members will meet at least quarterly to develop and execute an action plan, determine working procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. OSHA will also offer the opportunity for representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association and the association of state Consultation Projects to participate in the Alliance.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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