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November 16, 2009

OSHA Makes Statement on H1N1-related Inspections

H1N1_fluOSHA will soon issue a compliance directive to ensure uniform procedures when conducting inspections to identify risks of occupational exposure to H1N1 virus. The directive will closely follow the CDC's Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings, Including Protection of Healthcare Personnel.


In response to complaints, OSHA inspectors will ensure that healthcare employers implement a hierarchy of controls (including source control, engineering and administrative measures), and encourage vaccination and other work practices recommended by the CDC. Where respirators are required, the OSHA Respiratory Protection standard must be followed, including worker training and fit testing.


The CDC recommends use of respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit tested disposable N95 respirator for healthcare personnel who are in close contact (within 6 feet) with patients with suspected or confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza.


If OSHA inspectors determine a facility has not violated any OSHA requirements but believes that additional measures could enhance the protection of employees, OSHA may issue a Hazard Alert Letter outlining suggested measures to further protect workers.


Read more here.
Review the latest CDC Guidance here.

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