25 Jun

Contaminated Cabin Air – What to do in a Fume Event

Over the past six months your trade union has become concerned with the increasing number of fume events reported onboard British Airways Gatwick aircraft; as well as the serious nature of these reports. Of significant concern to us is the number of Gatwick cabin crew who have been referred to hospital following a fume event for treatment and observation.
In response to this your trade union has produced a video to educate and remind cabin crew on the correct procedure to follow in a fume event. This video highlights the importance of avoiding further exposure and the correct use of ‘Portable Breathing Equipment/Smoke Hoods’ in such circumstances to reduce the risk of harm.

As the video is safety focused and educational, please feel free to share it with your colleagues and help us get the message to as many cabin crew as possible.
As a reminder, here is a copy of the correct procedure to follow, as well as a copy of the NHS care pathway for crew who have been involved in a fume event onboard and require medical attention.

What to do in a fume event:

  • Follow Cabin Crew Proceduresas per OM B 3.9.5 ‘Smoke, Fire & Fumes’
  • Avoid further exposure, oxygen is recommended (NOT PORTABLE OXYGEN – Must use Portable Breathing Equipment / SMOKE HOOD –PBE)
  • You MUST complete an incident form and the AML.
  • File a MOR (Mandatory Occurrence Report) with CAA.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary. (MedLink on-board, Global Lifeline down route)
  • Tell your doctor you were exposed to contaminated aircraft cabin air. Refer to the attached NHS Care Pathway
  • Contact your H&S reps with all details of the fume event including the aircraft registration.
  • If appropriate file a personal injury claim with Unite solicitors on 03330 146569.

As many of you may be aware, British Airways and indeed the majority of airlines around the world continue to deny that fume events exist, often referring to them as ‘odour’ events and thus refusing to accept that they cause any serious harm to us. As a result, this is an area that continues to be researched and tackled by your Health & Safety reps, as well as Unite, and we will continue to campaign for changes that benefit our members’ welfare and safety.
It is imperative that you follow the guidance above, especially ensuring that you follow the correct reporting procedure for notifying your reps, the company via an incident form and also noting the issue in the AML.

Further information can be found at www.aerotoxic.org or www.gcaqe.org.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

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