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OSHA, Airline Group Renew Alliance; Will Continue Addressing Ergonomic Issues Related to Safe Handling of Checked Baggage


WASHINGTON, June 6 -- An Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and a group of 13 airlines and the International Air Transport Section of the National Safety Council (NSC) was renewed today to continue building on successes and further protect workers in the airline industry. The agreement was first launched in November 2002 and first renewed in April 2004.

“Renewing this successful Alliance allows us to make the most of our resources and reach more workers and employers with important industry safety and health practices,” said Jonathan L. Snare, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “We look forward to building upon our successes and more joint efforts that will benefit workers in this important industry.”

“Our association with OSHA, the National Safety Council and a consortium of airlines has been and continues to be the source for open dialogue on ergonomic issues as well as an industry venue for benchmarking,” added Jim Swartz, Director of Corporate Safety for Delta Air Lines, Inc. “This is the third phase of our long term approach to address baggage handling in the travel industry.”

The Alliance renewal calls for a continuing focus in the areas of ergonomics, particularly relating to the handling of passenger checked baggage. The organizations will continue to develop an industry training manual for aviation baggage handlers on how to handle large volumes of passenger checked baggage safely and reduce the chance for injuries on the job. The manual addresses injury prevention, forces that affect the body, identifying and reducing risk factors and proper body mechanics for handling checked baggage.

OSHA and the Airline Group participants have worked together to develop a web-based training eTool on Baggage Handling and the Safety and Health Topics page for the Airline Industry on OSHA’s website. Together, they will continue to provide expertise on the periodic review of both tools and will begin converting the industry training manual into a module of the eTool.

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, America West Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit .


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