What You Need to Know About OSHA’s Infectious Disease Standard


OSHA has big plans for 2023. The stalled Infectious Disease Standard is now back on the books and a top priority for the organization. Let’s talk about how this standard will affect employers and what you need to know to be one step ahead.

ONE STANDARD, ALL INDUSTRIES

Rather than separating disease standards like bloodborne pathogens (Hepatitis B, HIV), tuberculosis, or COVID-19, the infectious disease standard will provide rules concerning every disease that affects your specific industry. This will be different from teachers, to healthcare workers, and congregate settings. Let’s talk about what medical screening and continued surveillance will look like with this new standard.

MEDICAL SCREENING

All new and existing employees will have to receive their vaccinations, provide documentation for these vaccinations, or receive titers testing from a medical professional to prove their immunity. So, a good question to ask yourself is, how many of my employees are already receiving vaccines? How many of my employees are completing annual titer testing? If your employees are already doing this, make sure you are keeping good track of these records. If not, maybe you should start thinking about choosing an occupational health partner so that scheduling and results for pre-employment and annual medical screenings all come to one place. This makes everything easier on you, your employees, and your HR team.

Along with vaccines and titers, tuberculosis testing and PPE will play a huge role for new and existing employees. For some, this may be nothing new! For others, don’t worry, the process is simple! TB testing can be completed in one appointment through QuantiFERON TB testing or through traditional PPD testing with a follow-up. Respiratory compliance can be complicated, but when you choose a reputable fit testing provider, everything is taken care of for you. Respiratory protection can be simplified into three steps ─ providing the correct PPE to your employees, completing OSHA-required medical evaluations prior to fit testing, and completing annual respirator fit testing.

MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE

Medical surveillance is the ongoing protection of current employees. Meaning, staying up to date with vaccinations, boosters, titers, tuberculosis testing, and respirator fit testing.

For the OSHA Infectious Disease Standard, compliance all comes down to recordkeeping. From pre-employment to annual services, every record has to be ready and on hand for an audit. Recordkeeping processes within your organization are something you can start streamlining now.

DON’T DO THIS ALONE

As we’ve been talking about, the moral of this story is, don’t try and do all of this yourself. Mobile Health provides every service you need all in one place. Plus, the recordkeeping technology to keep you organized. Streamlining your current employee medical screening and occupational health program is the best thing you can do to be prepared for whatever OSHA has on their agenda. From existing to new standards, we are always on the forefront to keep our partners protected. If you have questions about your industry’s standards, or how you can streamline your processes, we’d love to chat! Use this link to get started with an expert.

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