Ebola has been all over the news lately but, even in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be writing about Ebola and how it relates to insurance (but that was before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared that it will attempt to establish new rules for Ebola containment last week). The declaration comes on the heels of an escalating global crisis that touched American shores for the first time earlier this month (which is a little terrifying). While a lot of the media coverage of the foreign born virus has been blown out of proportion there is no questioning how deadly Ebola can be which likely prompted OSHA to launch a campaign to reduce the viruses’ ability to spread in the work place. Here is what you need to know about OSHA’s recent announcement and how it relates to you and your business.
What was OSHA’s Announcement?
In an effort to reflect public demand for greater regulation of workplace infection control OSHA announced a new campaign in their regulatory agenda. The organization stated that it was, “considering the need for a standard that employers establish a comprehensive infection control program and control measures to protect employees from infectious disease exposures to pathogens that can cause significant disease.”
How does it relate to me, as a contractor?
These regulations will extend to all manner of organizations and businesses (both big and small) which means contractors will be affected by this program. With the possibility of exposure to bodily fluids contractors may be expected to carry personal protective equipment on top of additional protective measures (which were not specified).
When can we expect to see these regulations?
Since the announcement came relatively recently there is no set deadline that OSHA is looking to meet. Instead, the organization will focus on a dialogue between business owners and themselves to see what can be done to stop the spread of infectious diseases. We would not be surprised if these rules and regulations take years to finalize so, it will not be something you need to worry about presently.
If you would like to contribute to the dialogue or have any further questions for OSHA you can reach them at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Stay safe!