Ebola workplace safety: 7 prevention steps

Ebola workplace safety: 7 prevention steps


OSHA has teamed up with other state health agencies to release recommendations that will help protect workers from Ebola. Workers in certain professions could potentially be exposed to Ebola. These include:

◾healthcare workers

◾emergency responders

◾laboratory staff

◾death care workers

◾airline crews and airport staff, and

◾quarantine operations staff.

The safety recommendations urge employers to:

◾Make sure workers who are at risk of Ebola exposure wear the proper PPE, including gloves, impermeable body suits, face shields or alternate face and eye coverings, and NIOSH-approved respirators, when appropriate. The PPE used must not allow any bodily fluids to come into contact with a worker’s clothing or skin

◾Provide proper training so workers know correct procedures for correctly putting on and removing PPE. Allow workers to practice with the PPE so they are comfortable

◾Designate an area for workers to put on and remove PPE

◾Use either a buddy system or another way of assisting workers to put on and remove their PPE. Remember that anyone assisting must also wear correct PPE

◾Use other PPE, like double gloves and disposable shoe and leg coverings, when working in areas with bodily fluids

◾Provide workers who are performing aerosol-generating procedures with an airborne infection isolation room, or at the very least, a private room with the door closed. Remind these workers that they must use NIOSH-approved respirators, and

◾If you or your workers suspect a case of Ebola, report it to the local public health department immediately.

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