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OSHA updates webpage on protecting workers from Legionnaires’ disease

Approximately 6,000 cases reported annually

Posted September 7, 2018

OSHA recently revised its Legionellosis webpage to provide updated information on preventing, identifying, and controlling Legionella bacteria hazards in the workplace. While Legionella are usually harmless and are found naturally in water and soil, they can become a potentially deadly human health hazard when they grow in poorly maintained domestic and industrial water systems; cooling towers; or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

If workers are exposed to Legionella from these types of sources, particularly in water droplets or respirable fine mists small enough to inhale, they may develop Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac Fever. Legionnaires' disease is a serious, and potentially deadly, lung infection; Pontiac Fever is a less serious infection with milder symptoms similar to the flu. Approximately 6,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported annually in the United States.

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