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American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Practice Management & Allied Staff News & Materials

OSHA Issues Comprehensive Guidance on Pandemic Flu for Health Care Workers

July 17th, 2007

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration' released a guidance document on pandemic influenza preparedness for the health care industry on May 21.

The document, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers, includes technical information on infection control and industrial hygiene practices intended to reduce the risk of infection in healthcare settings. Along with valuable information found in the appendixes, the guidelines include pandemic planning checklists, sample plans, risk communication resources and sample supply checklists for pandemic planning. Noted standards of special importance include OSHA's respiratory protection, personal protective equipment, blood borne pathogens and the Occupational Safety and Health Act's general duty clause. While the guidance is based on traditional infection control and industrial hygiene practices, it is possible that during a pandemic, the document may need to be revised or additional guidance issued.