October 01, 2007 | | Comments 0
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Update on TB fit-testing requirements

Hi everyone –

It’s Scott Wallask over here at the Hospital Safety Center with a quick note.

There’s been a lot of reports swirling around about annual fit-testing requirements for tuberculosis (TB) in hospitals.

In 2004 as part of OSHA’s budget approval, Congress prohibited the agency from using those funds to enforce fit-testing provisions for TB, which falls under the respiratory protection standard. That prohibition has continued for the past several years.

While it seems likely that the fit-testing ban for TB will end with the fiscal year 2008 budget, it is not official quite yet.

FY 08 technically started today, but at this point, the full Congress has not passed various appropriations bills to send the funding along, Dan Glucksman, a spokesperson for the International Safety Equipment Association in Arlington, VA, told to me this afternoon. The American Hospital Association reported about this aspect as well last week.

So, reports that mandatory annual fit-testing for TB begins today may be a bit premature.

I’m waiting to hear back from OSHA about this whole issue. When I do, I’ll let you know.

Thanks,

Scott W.

swallask@hcpro.com

Entry Information

Filed Under: OSHA

Scott Wallask About the Author: Scott Wallask is senior managing editor for HCPro's Hospital Safety Center (www.hospitalsafetycenter.com) and the award-winning newsletters, Briefings on Hospital Safety and Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. He has written about healthcare for HCPro since 1998, with a focus on occupational and building safety, emergency management, fire protection, and infection control. Prior to joining HCPro, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. He holds a BA in print journalism, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University in Boston. Contact Scott at swallask@hcpro.com.

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