OSHA's Alliance With Airline Group Renewed

An Alliance formed nearly four years ago among OSHA, a group of 12 airlines, and the National Safety Council's (NSC) International Air Transport Section was renewed recently to continue exploring ways to address ergonomic issues associated with the handling of passenger-checked baggage.

OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke signed the renewal June 14, keeping one of the agency's first Alliance Program agreements front and center in furthering workplace safety and health.

"This Alliance was developed with the hope of a continuing relationship with the airline industry that would focus on results," said Foulke. "Now, nearly four years later, we are continuing that successful collaborative effort to improve the workplace environment for a major portion of the aviation industry. The group's eagerness to continue this relationship demonstrates just how much we can do together for the safety of employees."

"We think the fact that we're renewing this OSHA Alliance for a fourth year is the most substantive statement we can make regarding the benefits to be repeated from a collaborative effort between industry and a regulatory agency," added Captain K. Scott Griffith, Managing Director, Corporate Safety and Quality Evaluations, American Airlines, speaking on behalf of the Airline Industry Alliance participants. "We truly appreciate OSHA's proactive and practical approach to helping us address issues to enhance employee safety."

In the past year, the OSHA and Airline Industry Alliance has resulted in the completion of a number of projects including "A Guide to Packing for Business and Personal Travel" pamphlet, and the "Ergonomics for Baggage Handlers Training Manual." OSHA and the Alliance participants have also updated a web-based training eTool on Baggage Handling and are currently working on an ergonomics training module for the tool; a Safety and Health Topics page for the Airline Industry is up and running on OSHA's website.

The renewal calls for a continuing safety and health focus in the areas of ergonomics particularly related to the handling of passenger checked baggage. Participants will also develop a seminar with, and disseminate information to, other regulatory agencies, international organizations and interested parties regarding baggage handling issues.

In addition to OSHA and the NSC's International Air Transport Section, the Alliance consists of the following companies: Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, ATA Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

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