Thursday, May 28, 2009

OSHA Publishes Guidance Documents for Pandemic Influenza

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have published five documents dealing with pandemic influenza. The documents are:
  • Healthcare Workplaces Classified as Very High or High Exposure Risk for Pandemic Influenza” – OSHA designed this fact sheet to assist healthcare workplaces and to protect these workers from exposure to pandemic influenza. Using the Occupational Risk Pyramid (at left) it defines who are very high or high risk and recommends engineering controls, administrative controls, work practices, and PPE to protect these workers.
  • What Employers Can Do to Protect Workers from Pandemic Influenza” – this fact sheet recommends engineering controls, administrative controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Protect Yourself Pandemic Flu Respiratory Protection” – this quick card defines who needs a respirator based exposure risk, defines minimum level of protection as N95 respirator, states that surgical masks are not respirators, and OSHA requirements for a respiratory protection program.
  • How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace during a Pandemic” – this quick card lists suggested precautions and actions workers should take to reduce risk of becoming ill with pandemic influenza.
  • Respiratory Infection Control: Respirators Versus Surgical Masks” – this fact sheet defines the difference between respirators, such as filtering facepiece (used to be known as dust masks) and half mask respirators, and surgical masks, which are a physical barrier to protect users from hazards, such as splashes of large droplets of blood or body fluids. NIOSH certifies all respirators, including filtering facepieces, visit their website for recent warnings for respirator users (www.niosh.gov). NIOSH does not certify surgical masks to prevent inhalation of small airborne contaminants. Only surgical masks cleared by the Food and Drug Administration have been tested for their ability to resist blood and bodily fluids.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NYC Deadline Approaching Regarding OSHA Training Requirement


Starting July 1, 2009, all workers at major building projects in New York City are required to complete a 10-hour course in construction industry safety and health approved by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Local Law 41 of 2008 requires the site safety plans of major buildings must include a statement that all workers have completed this course.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

H1N1 Flu

H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico and Canada, have reported people sick with this new virus. This virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. Click on the title and visit the CDC website to answer your questions regarding the H1N1 Flu.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.