Tuesday, July 14, 2015

OSHA Updates Procedures for Tuberculosis-Related Healthcare Inspection

OSHA has updated instructions for conducting inspections and issuing citations related to worker exposures to tuberculosis in healthcare settings. The instruction now incorporates guidance from the 2005 CDC report, "Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings."

According to the CDC, nearly one-third of the world's population is infected with TB, which kills almost 1.5 million people per year. Despite best efforts, TB continues to infect hundreds of people each year, posing a serious threat to workers in healthcare.

Other changes to the directive include: the introduction of a newer screening method for analyzing blood for M. tuberculosis; classifying health care settings as low risk, medium risk, or potential ongoing transmission; and reducing the frequency of TB screenings for workers.

According to OSHA, the revised directive only updates the agency's inspection procedures, employers will not have to follow any additional regulations. Click here for more information tuberculosis.