Health care/social assistance Inspections Worker health and wellness Workplace exposures

OSHA updates inspection instructions for workplace tuberculosis exposure

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Washington – A new OSHA directive based on public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates procedures for carrying out inspections and issuing citations for workplace exposure to tuberculosis.

Among the changes, the directive introduces a new screening method for examining blood for Mycobacterium tuberculosis; decreases the frequency of worker screenings; and classifies health care settings as “low risk,” “medium risk” and “potential ongoing transmission,” according to a July 13 press release.

OSHA states that the directive, which replaces instructions from 1996, does not add any “enforcement burdens for employers.”

About 383 of the 9,582 U.S. tuberculosis cases in 2013 affected health care workers, according to CDC. Health care workers are at risk for multi-drug-resistant and extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, the release states.