OSHA & Employee Staph Infections

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    Significance

    • The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, particularly methicillin-resistant staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), starting in the 1970s led to greater recognition of the need for standardized approaches and interventions to limit the spread of infections in the workplace.

    Employer Responsibilities

    • Employers who take the steps that are part of OSHA's Safety and Health Management System can limit the spread of staph among employees. These include encouraging good hygiene and full compliance with OSHA Standards.

    Employee Responsibilities

    • Employees with suspected staph infections should immediately seek medical care. Those with confirmed staph infections should follow physician advice about returning to work and should utilize good wound care and personal hygiene to limit the potential for spread.

    Relevant Standards

    • OSHA Standards can provide protection for both employees and employers. Relevant standards including the use of and training programs on blood-borne pathogens, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, sanitation and appropriate record keeping can limit the spread of infectious diseases such as staph.

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