Wednesday, May 30, 2007

OSHA releases pandemic flu guidelines for health care workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration on May 21 released new safety and health guidelines for healthcare workers and their employers preparing for a possible influenza pandemic.


Technical information on infection control and industrial hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection in healthcare settings, workplace preparations and planning, plus OSHA standards, are outlined in the report. It's called "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers." It is available at www.osha.gov.


In February, OSHA released general guidance for all types of workplaces, including how the virus is spread and how exposure in the workplace would likely occur. Should a pandemic occur, OSHA will provide up-to-date information and guidance to the public on the www.pandemicflu.gov Web site.

1 comment:

Mark said...

While the medical response to pandemic flu will be important to controlling its spread and limiting its toll, there are considerable non-medical issues related to flu preparedness that are essential for ensuring the continued well-being of the nation's economy. Planning for Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) is critical to maintaining the overall viability of society. Thus, while we rightly prepare for the flu, we must be equally prepared to function during the flu.

The Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the DOD's National Defense University has prepared a number of freely-available items which can help civilians be prepared both before and during the flu. "Bird Flu and You" is a poster available in 9 languages with basic information about influenza preparedness. "Weathering the Storm" is a report with information about planning for COOP, including instructions for carrying out "tabletop excercises" with a COOP plan.

Electronic copies of the poster are available at http://www.ndu.edu/ctnsp/Bird_flu.htm. Electronic copies of the report are available at http://www.ndu.edu/ctnsp/Def_Tech/DTP%2038%20Weathering%20The%20Storm.pdf, and to request hard copies of the
report, contact the Life Sciences group at lifesciences@ndu.edu.

Robert E. Armstrong, Ph.D.
&
Mark D. Drapeau, Ph.D.

Center for Technology and National Security Policy
National Defense University
Washington, DC

This is the view of the authors and does not represent the official view of National Defense University, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, or the U.S government.