OSHA is working to further identify incidents of infectious illness in the workplace and what can be done to prevent the spread of such diseases.
On May 6, 2010, OSHA published a Request for Information on Infectious Diseases. OSHA wanted to gather comments on strategies that are currently used to reduce the risk of workplace exposure to infectious agents, and to more accurately distinguish the nature and extent of occupationally-acquired infectious diseases. Based on responses received and an ongoing review of literature on this subject, OSHA is considering development of a proposed program standard to control worker exposures to infectious agents.
"We know that workers in healthcare and related facilities may be exposed to infectious agents, and they deserve to be protected," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health 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. After all, a good job is a healthy and safe job."
Submitted by Andrew Fatato