The pros and cons of the FAA Policy on the Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers
The main issues apparent in the study encompass the challenges faced in the air transport industry. It comprises the roles undertaken by bodies like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). From the study, it is evident that the FAA is in a continuous process of adopting the policies of OSHA that would extend the operations of OSHA into the cabin of aircraft. According to Salvendy (2012), FAA response emanated from persuasions of several bodies such as the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) to extend safety standards of OSHA onboard aircraft. Therefore, some policies concerning the safety of airline workers initially absent would be availed by the FAA in its policy that advocates for the incorporation of the policies from OSHA.
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Notably, the pros that are likely to materialize after implementation of the policy proposed by the FAA include increased safety for the employees and passengers onboard an airline and enhanced service quality. In the policy advanced by FAA, its union with OSHA intends to expand the extent of safety that some aircraft workers like flight attendants enjoy in their workplaces. Some of the provisions promoted by the policies include hazard communication, protection from airborne diseases and pathogens, and protection from risks associated with the structure of an aircraft (Ferguson& Nelson, 2014). Significantly, increased safety of employees in aircraft translates to the high quality of services to passengers and boosts their satisfaction. On the other hand, some of the cons associated with the implementation of the policy include aircrafts subjection to conflicting regulations and challenges relating to their operations. Implementation of the policy can increase instances where the provisions advanced by states and bodies such as FAA, AFA, and OSHA conflict, and thus, subject aircraft to challenges that may eventually affect their daily operations.
A comment letter in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Docket ID: FAA-2012-0953
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a body that looks into the affairs of employees working in an aircraft and the passengers on board an airline. Due to the increasing need to minimize risks, FAA has been compelled to draft a proposal that seeks to incorporate the policies advanced by (OSHA) as part of its safety and health measures to airline staff. Conversely, the challenges associated with the adoption of the proposal increased the demand for the development of the present airline Safety Management Measures (SMSs) to minimize air transport risks without involving external bodies that can affect airline operations.
Safety management measures are very instrumental in minimizing the risks in air transport as well as ensuring that employees and passengers onboard an aircraft is free from hazards. The effectiveness of the measures transpires from their ability to provide systematic procedures that airlines can follow in risk minimization.
Moreover, these SMSs enable airlines to employ a set of policies easily and conveniently without straining their budgets and operational procedures. The measures provide policies that are ethical, workable, and systematic. Therefore, the measures prove to be very instrumental in the solution of the present challenges that FAA and OSHA face in their attempt to merge and cushion the airline staff from various workplace risks.
Fundamentally, it is important for FAA, AFA, OSHA, airlines, and other stakeholders in air transport to work together and employ these safety measures. By working together, the stakeholders can effectively create a working environment, which is safe and free from hazards, and in turn, improve the quality of service in air transport.
The Viewpoints of OSHA, FAA, NBAA, APFA, AFA-CWA, and Airlines of America
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union (AFA-CWA), and Airlines for America have divergent viewpoints concerning air transport. Milakovich and Gordon (2013) state that from the viewpoint of OSHA, the safety of airline staff is very important, and thus, they need to work with FAA and address the grievances that are currently absent in the provisions of FAA. According to the FAA, a merger with OSHA would amplify the safety of airline staff and increase service quality.
Conversely, FAA states that for the policy to succeed, OSHA needs to provide technical assistance and only tackle few matters that concern the safety of airline staff such as hazard communication. In the perspective of APFA and AFA-CWA, the policy that extends the safety provisions of OSHA to flight attendants is one of the steps that augment the quality of air transport (Ferguson & Nelson, 2014). However, NBAA states that although the provisions outlined by the FAA in its policy to work with OSHA are good, other provisions do not need the incorporation of flight attendants and other airline staff. Additionally, American airlines worry that the inclusion of bodies such as OSHA in the safety of its staff can negatively affect their operations and businesses.
The policy’s effects on the level of safety, customer service, and operations of the airline industry
Implementation of the decision results in a range of positive outcomes in the level of safety and airline operations. By implementing the policy, airlines not only minimize the risks and hazards common with their staff, but also increase their performance and productivity. Remarkably, effective application of the policies leads to a scenario where employees work in a good environment, which is also safe for the passengers. The implication of improved safety and high quality of service means that airline operations become efficient, smooth, and productive.
Ferguson, M., & Nelson, S. (2014). Aviation Safety: A Balanced Industry Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.
Milakovich, M., & Gordon, G. (2013). Public Administration in America. New York: Cengage Learning.
Salvendy, G. (2012). Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics. New York: Wiley.