Safety

OSHA will explore an airborne infectious disease regulation

Hospital Safety Insider, December 9, 2009

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OSHA’s updated regulatory agenda shows it will seek public comment sometime in early 2010 about how to improve worker protection from occupational exposure to airborne diseases.
 
This comes on the heels of California OSHA releasing a standard over the summer on airborne transmissible diseasses.
 
“The California infectious disease standard will certainly be one important piece of information that OSHA will consider in deciding whether to propose or issue a standard,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said during a Web chat on Monday.
 
Solis said she couldn’t yet predict how long it will take to issue a final standard.  
 
Under the California standard, hospitals and other affected employers in the state are 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



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