AFA Safety Committee Update
May 29, 2020 – MEC Air Safety Health and Security Committee
Horizon Air AFA’s Safety Committee would like to share some very educational information about toxic fumes onboard the aircraft.
Everyone knows that the cabin can smell. Most of the time, the smells are unpleasant but should not make you sick. But when you notice an unpleasant, unusual smell sourced to the air supply vents – “fumes” – you should pay attention.
The design and maintenance of aircraft systems means that, sometimes, engine oil and hydraulic fluid fumes contaminate the air supplied to the cabin for ventilation. Ever noticed a dirty sock smell coming from the vents, maybe associated with APU usage or engine start? That smell could be engine oil fumes and the chemicals in those fumes may make you sick. Similarly, an acrid smell from the vents can be hydraulic fluid fumes. Other types of chemicals can get into the ventilation system, too, like deicing fluid and exhaust fumes. It’s important to know how to recognize and respond to the presence of these fumes in the cabin.
To assist our members, AFA has created a video training tool to teach flight attendants how to recognize and respond to the presence of fumes onboard. If you do the whole training in one sitting, it will take about 40 minutes to complete. However, the training is built in modules, so you can watch it in 5-10 minute increments and complete the training module by module. You do not need a password or login to access the material. Check it out – listen to the stories of crewmembers who have been affected by fumes and learn about what you need to notice, plus the various AFA resources you are able to access.
We want to give a friendly reminder to wear your masks while on duty. Review the FAIF distributed from management concerning masks. If you have any questions, ask an AFA Representative or your supervisor.
Your AFA MEC ASHS Committees
ASHS – Bryan Grosvold, Jennifer Levcun and Pam Powell