OSHA Seeks Comments on Healthcare Occupational Exposure to Infectious Agents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information and comment on occupational exposure to infectious agents in settings where healthcare is provided, (e.g., hospitals, outpatient clinics, clinics in schools and correctional facilities), and healthcare-related settings (e.g., laboratories that handle potentially infectious biological materials, medical examiner offices and mortuaries).

OSHA is interested in strategies that are being used in such healthcare and other healthcare-related work settings to mitigate the risk of occupationally-acquired infectious diseases. As such, OSHA would like to collect information and data on the facilities and the tasks potentially exposing workers to this risk; successful employee infection control programs; control methodologies being utilized (including engineering, work practice, and administrative controls and personal protective equipment); medical surveillance programs; and training.

OSHA will use the information received in response to this request to determine what action, if any, the agency may take to further limit the spread of occupationally-acquired infectious diseases in these types of settings.

Comments from the public must be submitted by the following date:

-- Hard copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or sent) by August 4, 2010.

-- Fax and electronic transmission: Your comments must be sent by August 4, 2010.

Comments and additional materials may be submitted by any of the following methods:

-- Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions:

-- Fax: If your submissions, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–1648

-- Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA–2010–0003, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N–2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor’s and Docket Office’s normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., EST.

All submissions must include the agency name and the OSHA docket number for this rulemaking (OSHA Docket No. OSHA–2010–0003). Submissions, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov.

For more details from the Federal Register, CLICK HERE.

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