THE SPANISH High Court has ruled that airline Iberia will have to take action to ensure that its cabin crew don’t injure themselves when closing the overhead lockers.
What’s more, changes will be needed to the crew’s uniforms too, given that the new designs are unsuitable for the task.
The case was brought by the company’s works committee due to the incorporation of the Airbus A350 into its fleet. The aeroplane has high-capacity overhead lockers, the doors of which support the weight of the cases contained inside. As such, they require greater effort to close compared to other designs with a hinged door.
In its ruling, the court stated that Iberia will have to start checking the weight of passengers’ hand luggage to ensure that the total content of each locker does not exceed the maximum permitted by the manufacturer.
The risk to the cabin crew exists due to the need for greater effort when closing the lockers, as well as an inclined position to reach them.
The court analysed the conditions the crew must work under, pointing out that, with a locker height of 2.2 metres, the job is particularly difficult “in particular for female workers with a height of 1.6 metres or similar”.
The court ruled that the lockers must be closed by two members of the crew if one of them is shorter than 1.63 metres.
The judges overseeing the case also instructed Iberia to reevaluate its uniforms, given that the latest design for female crew members is “more uncomfortable and rigid” around the shoulders, impeding the movements needed to close the overhead lockers.
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