Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. It is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It started its operations in November of 2003. In 2011, Etihad Airways had over 9,000 employees 3,000 of which are in the cabin crew team. Etihad Airways’ cabin crew is an award winning team consisting of members from 110 different countries making it a truly diverse one. All cabin crew members are required to take a mandatory eight week training course before commencing work. This course is divided into two categories: ‘Services’ and ‘Safety and Emergency’.
The Safety and Emergency training course is to ensure all cabin crew members are aware of the safety hazards on board, how to avoid any risks of health and safety hazards, and are well-trained to handle any emergency that might occur. Hazards cabin crew members may face include: Psychological – Sexual harassment: female flight attendants are a target for sexual harassment from passengers on board. This may cause stress and the inability to perform well. Sexual harassment cannot be avoided but should a passenger harass a flight attendant, it should be reported to the chief of cabin on board and they will handle it.
Biological – Air-borne diseases: SARS, Swine Flu, Avian Flu, etc. These are epidemics that only occur every once in a while and are not common. Avoiding these illnesses can be done through not travelling to countries where they are common when the diseases are widespread. Screenings at airports upon arrival by the health department also helps. Physical – Heavy items falling from overhead luggage compartment: after take-off, landing, and turbulence, items in overhead compartments may shift places and can be a potential hazard upon opening the compartment if they fall over.
Opening the overhead compartments slowly and carefully can greatly reduce the risk of items falling out. Ergonomic – Standing for long hours: this is the most common hazard that affects cabin crew members. Having to stand up for long hours of flight to serve travellers especially during long-haul flights puts strain on the back, neck, and legs. Female cabin crew members are more prone to this as they are required to wear high-heeled shoes while on the job. This can be avoided by doing proper stretching exercises throughout the flight, and sitting or lying down to rest.