OSHA publishes guidance on reducing seasonal flu

Agency says pandemic flu is still a concern

Posted October 29, 2015

OSHA published guidance for workers and employers on reducing the spread of seasonal flu in workplaces. The material provides precautions to be used in all workplaces and the additional precautions that should be used in health care settings. OSHA warns that health care workers in contact with flu exposed patients are at higher risk for exposure to the flu virus and additional precautions are needed. The agency provides separate guidance for health care workers, non-health care workers, health care employers, and non-health care employers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also updated guidance for protecting individuals from seasonal flu. The CDC’s information can be used to find the most recent seasonal flu vaccine. Each year the vaccine is revised to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common this season.

Additionally, OSHA says, pandemic flu remains a concern for employers and workers. A pandemic can occur at any time and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Although the pandemic H1N1 flu in 2009 was considered by CDC to be mild, it created significant challenges for employers and workers and showed that many workplaces were not prepared. OSHA has also provided an informational webpage on pandemic influenza.


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