Airborne infectious diseases prerule review complete

May 6, 2010

A review of OSHA's prerule regulating airborne infectious diseases was completed April 29 by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

OSHA is considering a standard that will require employers to establish an infection control program to protect workers from infectious disease exposure. Health care workers and other employees in similar occupations face increased risk of contracting diseases such as tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

In the most recent regulatory agenda, OSHA broadened its scope of the possible standard beyond airborne infectious diseases to include all possible routes of infectious disease transmission.

In related news, the World Health Organization on Wednesday launched its annual global campaign to improve hand hygiene among health care workers as part of an effort to stop the spread of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is participating in the campaign and has a Web page with information on hand hygiene.