What You Need to Know About OSHA’s New Infectious Disease Standard: A Compliance Expert’s Perspective

Employers are beginning to worry about OSHA’s Infectious Disease Standard coming in 2023. Let us put your mind at ease with a compliance experts’ perspective: you may already be in compliance. Why? Because this will be a large overarching standard containing components you may already be familiar with.

For some industries, this will be completely new. But for most, you’re already on your way. Now, there may be some serious tidying up to do within your programs, so let’s talk about that!

What will OSHA’s Infectious Disease Standard include?

Respiratory protection, vaccines, titers, and tuberculosis testing. If you don’t have any of these screening protocols in place, it would be good to talk to an occupational health provider. If you already have these in place, here’s what you can do in the meantime to be ready for an audit. It all comes down to recordkeeping and technology

WHAT TYPE OF TECH DO I NEED?

If you aren’t keeping track of your employees’ medical records (or if they’re stuffed in a filing cabinet), you need dedicated occupational health technology.

With Mobile Health technology, you can schedule exams, have results come directly to your portal, and you can even upload old records from other providers to keep everything in one place moving forward.

HIPPA/HITECH COMPLIANCE

As with any standard, you must protect your employee’s medical records. HIPAA and HITECH set the standards for how you protect sensitive data from exams, to receiving results, and all communication in between. Mobile Health’s technology for scheduling, communication, and storing results meet the highest standard of HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

THE 30 YEAR RULE

One thing to note when is comes to OSHA-compliant record keeping is the 30-year rule for respirator fit testing medical evaluations. The results of all medical evaluations have to be store by the employer for the duration of a worker’s employment PLUS 30 years. You can start going over these records now to make sure they are being stored properly. Moving forward, the best thing you can do for your company is to start using online medical evaluations. When you make the switch, all records will come to one portal and be kept on hand for 30 years without you having to lift a finger.

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD

As we talked about, you make already have vaccinations, titers, respirator fit testing, and TB screening in place. The best thing you can do is go over your programs, ensure records are being stored properly, and think about choosing an occupational health provider to handle everything for you. If you have questions about your current programs, OSHA’s upcoming standard, or about how to start an employee health program, talk to an expert with Mobile Health. Protecting employers is what we do best.

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