Weekly poll: OSHA infectious disease standard

By: May 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A blog post last week talked about the possibility of an OSHA infectious disease standard, instead of an anticipated aerosol transmissible disease standard. Although the possible standard is only talk at this point (albeit from David Michaels, assistant secretary for OSHA) many readers expressed displeasure with the idea of an infectious disease standard.

Would you be in favor of a specific OSHA standard that required employers to protect healthcare workers from infectious disease?


Quizzes by Quibblo.com

Comments

By Julie Eisenhauer on May 5th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

The only problem that I can see with OSHA doing this is the disparity between governing agencies. We really do not need another set of regulations especially if they do not completely coincide with CDC, Joint Commision, SHEA, and APIC. What really needs to happen is that these expert associations need to get together and develop a concensus of recommendations. Right now it is to confusing. Who do we follow? Which agency will cost us the most? Who has the most accurate information? Is OSHA in the business of Infectious Disease or in the business of work force protection? Will OSHA work closely with these other associations in developing their standard?

By Rhonda Leitch on May 5th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

No, one Federal agency is enough and most follow CDC when it comes to infections.

No! OSHA regulations are not good for conditions taht require changing as needed. The H1N1 outbreak is a great example. CDC was putting out changes in some cases, on a daily basis. How can OSHA regulate something that changes like this.

Also, if you read OSHA’s reason for not enacting the TB standard, they found

“OSHA withdrew its 1997 proposed standard on Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis because it is unlikely to result in a meaningful reduction of disease transmission caused by contact with the most significant remaining source of occupational risk: exposure to individuals with undiagnosed and unsuspected TB.”

OSHA further stated “Moreover, much of the current occupational transmission appears to occur when workers do not realize that a patient, client, or other contact has infectious TB. An OSHA standard is unlikely to be more effective than the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in eliminating this risk. OSHA believes that workers in many situations, particularly those with limited medical qualifications and resources, will not be able to identify or diagnose currently undiagnosed TB cases frequently and rapidly enough to prevent this transmission from occurring”

Our position is that this applies to just about every infectious disease.

The average non-healthcare worker is as likely to be exposed to an infectious individual.

Tell me the checker at Walmart is not more exposed than a trained healthcare worker?

 

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