Document Category:
State: District of Columbia
Subject Matter: OSHA Details How Health Care Workers Must Be Protected From H1N1 Influenza
Document Title:

Healthcare Alert

OSHA Details How Health Care Workers Must Be Protected From H1N1 Influenza

The controls
that health care employers should be using to protect workers from
exposure to the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus are spelled out in a
compliance directive issued to OSHA inspectors Nov. 20.

directive, which takes effect immediately, is intended to ensure that
inspectors follow uniform procedures when conducting inspections to
identify and minimize or eliminate high to very high risk occupational
exposures to the virus, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) said.

OSHA said the
directive "closely follows" guidance issued by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends the use of respiratory
protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested disposable
N95 respirator for health care personnel who are in close contact
(within 6 feet) with patients who have suspected or confirmed 2009 H1N1

The directive
includes fact sheets on exposure risks and the use of respirators
versus surgical masks, examples of control measures, and questions for
inspectors to consider when evaluating the employer’s compliance, such
as whether a risk assessment has been conducted.

"OSHA has a
responsibility to ensure that the more than nine million frontline
health care workers in the United States are protected to the extent
possible against exposure to the virus," said Jordan Barab, acting
administrator of OSHA. "OSHA will ensure health care employers use
proper controls to protect all workers, particularly those who are at
high or very high risk of exposure."

In response
to complaints, OSHA inspectors will ensure that health care employers
implement a hierarchy of controls, and encourage vaccination and other
work practices recommended by the CDC. Where respirators are required
to be used, employers must comply with all relevant provisions of the
OSHA respiratory protection standard, including requirements for worker
training and fit testing. The directive also applies to institutional
settings where workers may have similar exposures, such as schools and
correctional facilities.

The directive (CPL-02-02-075) is available online at


Shared by Ric Henry, Pendulum

Document Author: OSHA
Firm/Company: OSHA
Document Date: January 1, 1970
Search Tags: OSHA H1N1 Influenza
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