Secure yourself when the seatbelt sign is on

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Do flight attendants ever get injured by turbulence? Some crewmembers seem to think they’re immune to injury.

Anytime the seatbelt sign is turned on, passengers must return to their seats. Depending on the severity of the turbulence, flight attendants should consider returning to their jumpseat and secure themselves as well. When the air gets turbulent and the plane is shaking to the point where it takes extra effort to walk without being bounced left and right, or up and down, flight attendants should discontinue service and return to their jumpseat. Flight attendants should not need to wait for the PIC to announce “flight attendants, return to your jumpseats.” The lead flight attendant should have the discretion to discontinue service if they find service is too difficult to perform. It’s the flight attendants’ personal safety at risk, and the level of turbulence cannot always be predicted. Unfortunately, injuries can and do happen to flight attendants that are standing during turbulence. In this instance, an American Airlines Flight Attendant suffered serious injuries from being unsecured during severe turbulence. While it’s understood airlines seek crewmembers to perform service within an acceptable level of risk, meaning during light turbulence, once turbulence reaches moderate or greater, safety is paramount over service. 

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