OSHA to Hold Meetings, Solicit Comments on Infectious Disease Exposure

July 5, 2011
OSHA will hold two stakeholder meetings in Washington, D.C., on July 29 to receive comments on occupational exposure to infectious diseases and consider a possible future rulemaking to protect employees from on-the-job disease exposure.

“We know that workers in health care and related facilities may be exposed to infectious agents, and they deserve to be protected,” said OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels. “Information gained from these meetings will help us determine the best approach to assure that workers don’t put themselves at risk while caring for patients and doing their job.”

The two meetings will be held July 29, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N-4437, Washington, D.C. 20210. To participate in one of the stakeholder meetings, or be a nonparticipating observer, individuals must submit a notice of intent electronically, by facsimile or by hard copy no later than July 22. For registration information, visit https://www2.ergweb.com/projects/conferences/osha/register-osha-stakeholder.htm.

Meeting discussions will focus on issues including the advantages and disadvantages of using a program standard to limit occupational exposure to infectious diseases; whether and to what extent an OSHA standard should require employers to develop a written worker infection control plan that documents how employers will implement infection control measures to protect workers; and whether and to what extent OSHA should take alternative approaches to rulemaking to improve compliance with current infection control guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other authoritative agencies.

OSHA actively has explored this issue since May 6, 2010, when the agency published a Request for Information on Infectious Diseases to gather comments on strategies that currently are used to reduce the risk of workplace exposure to infectious agents. Based on the responses and an ongoing review of literature, OSHA is considering development of a proposed program standard to control worker exposures to infectious agents in health care or other settings.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!