TB Standards in the Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a draft of a new proposed standard for employees exposed to tuberculosis (TB). The proposed standard would affect approximately 5.3 million workers involved in:
- hospitals homeless shelters long term care facilities detention facilities some laboratories social service agencies law enforcement home health home-based hospice care
- emergency medical services
Major components of the standard are:
- a written policy covering exposure reduction;
- an education program for workers;
- engineer controls, such as negative pressure rooms;
- annual and post-exposure TB skin testing;
- personal protective equipment, including respirators;
- recordkeeping to support implementation of the program.A less stringent standard would be applied in counties and institutions where the risk of TB infection is low.
The requirement for a respirator for exposed workers would result in:
- the necessity of starting a respirator program, including medical surveillance and clearance; education and training; respirator fit testing, and
- record keeping.
Respirators would be required for workers who:
- enter isolation rooms in use for TB or possible TB patients; workers performing procedures on TB patients who are not masked; individuals who transport infected individuals in an enclosed vehicle; HVAC workers who may be exposed;
- individuals who care for a suspected or confirmed TB case in a residence.
The release of the proposed standard has been delayed because of concerns in Congress over the cost of implementing such a program. Public hearings are scheduled to begin in February 1998.
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|