OSHA Offers Guidance To Protect Employees
Cal/OSHA is encouraging employers whose workers are at risk of exposure to the hepatitis A virus to review preventive measures posted online, according to an article on the Safety BLR website. The guidance comes after outbreaks in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — after contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person.
Cal/OSHA recommends workplaces with at-risk employees work to prevent exposures by:
• Areas contaminated by decaying waste such as fecal matter must be cleaned and sanitized
• Cal/OSHA requires employers to keep workplace restrooms clean and sanitary. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health offers downloadable disinfection guidelines
• Employers must provide handwashing facilities
• Employers must provide gloves and other necessary personal protective equipment to employees who come into contact with hazardous materials
• Employers must provide training to employees when a new hazard is presented in the workplace
Workers who have direct contact with persons living in unsanitary conditions, particularly individuals who are homeless or use illicit drugs, have an increased risk of exposure.
Workers at increased risk, include:
• Health care and laboratory workers
• Public safety and emergency medical services workers
• Sanitation and janitorial workers
• Homeless services and substance use treatment facilities
• Employers in outbreak locations that come into close contact with homeless persons or persons using illicit drugs should offer hepatitis A vaccinations to employees
Read the full article.
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