OSHA publishes new fact sheet on protecting workers who may be exposed to Ebola virus
OSHA has released a new factsheet, based on existing guidance from OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to help employers select appropriate personal protective equipment for workers who may be exposed to the Ebola virus. The fact sheet, “Personal Protective Equipment Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus,” includes a PPE matrix that covers examples of common exposures, which include direct contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids; contaminated objects, materials, and surfaces; and exposure to bio-aerosols that may contain Ebola virus particles.
Employers are responsible for identifying hazards to which their workers may be exposed; providing appropriate PPE to protect them; and training them on when and how they must use it, and how to dispose of or decontaminate the equipment. The matrix is not intended to prescribe PPE for every worker or exposure or discuss all PPE options. In some cases, OSHA’s matrix may be more protective than CDC guidance for specific worker groups or tasks.
Visit OSHA’s Ebola page for more information on how employers must protect their workers from the Ebola virus, as well as from exposure to harmful levels of chemicals used for cleaning and disinfecting (PDF*).