Ask the expert: TB skin tests and low risk facilities

By: November 23rd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We are located in a low risk area for TB occurrence and are not a “sick patient” facility. What does OSHA require for testing staff and volunteers for TB? Do they need to be tested yearly or just once?

A: OSHA does not regulate the health and safety of volunteers, but the CDC guidelines for preventing TB in healthcare settings says to screen volunteers the same as you would for healthcare workers in settings with possible TB exposure.

The guidelines also recommend a two-step  tuberculin skin test (TST) for new staff. The screening frequency is dependent on your risk factor, and a low-risk facility does not need to screen annually, according to the guidelines.

Download the TB Risk Assessment for Ambulatory Settings under the Infection Control heading on the Tools page to assist in determining your facility’s risk level.


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