OSHA TB Enforcement

OSHA updated an enforcement directive for tuberculosis on June 30, 2015.  The directive verifies that OSHA enforces the 2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings.”

Some medical and dental practices have questioned whether TB guidance applies to them, either because of their size, or because they are a specialty practice that does not routinely see patients with active TB. The instruction clarifies that “For purposes of this instruction, ‘healthcare setting’ is defined as any setting in which healthcare is delivered and workers might share air space with persons with TB disease or come in contact with clinical TB specimens.”  Further, the instruction specifically lists medical and dental care offices among the outpatient healthcare settings that are subject to inspection.

The CDC’s TB guidelines require affected settings to have TB infection control plans, conduct annual risk assessments, perform baseline tuberculin skin testing for new hires, train staff on recognizing signs and symptoms of TB, among other elements.

You may find more information on OSHA’s enforcement directive in the September 2015 issue of the American Practice Advisor.  Please contact Eagle Associates if you need information regarding a Tuberculosis Exposure Control Plan.