Opportunity to Submit Comments to OSHA on Exposure to Infectious Agents Closes Aug. 4

July 20, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is continuing to ask members of the infection prevention and control community to comment on occupational exposure to infectious agents in healthcare settings.

OSHA says it is interested in strategies currently being deployed in healthcare settings to mitigate the risk of work-acquired infectious diseases. As such, OSHA is collecting 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.

"All workplaces must be safe workplaces," says David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor. "We know that workers in healthcare and related facilities may be exposed to infectious agents, and they deserve to be protected. Preventing infectious disease among workers also will reduce exposure to their family members and to patients."

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.

The deadline to submit comments is Aug. 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) 6931648

-- 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. OSHA20100003, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labors and Docket Offices 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. OSHA20100003). 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.