Safety

Tip of the week: Stay tuned about new infectious airborne disease standard in CA

Hospital Safety Insider, July 8, 2009

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Starting August 5, California will become the first state to have a standard in place to protect employees, including healthcare workers, from the spread of airborne pathogens.

Several important employee safety initiatives used throughout the country originated in California, including needlestick safety regulations, so the state’s moves can be a sign of things to come in hospitals.

California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) will enforce the aerosol transmissible disease standard, which will protect workers in healthcare and related industries from illnesses such as tuberculosis, measles, flu, and others spread by coughing and sneezing.

Hospitals and other employers in California will be required to:
  • Develop exposure control procedures for airborne pathogens
  • Train workers how to follow these procedures
  • Involve employees in periodic review and assessment of these procedures
Basic exposure precautions such as source control, hand hygiene, and decontamination procedures are fundamental parts of the standard, according to Cal/OSHA.



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