How to protect workers who handle Ebola waste
Exposure to people infected with the Ebola virus isn’t the only danger related to the disease. Waste contaminated with the virus – such as medical and laboratory items -- can pose a serious health hazard to workers who are tasked with handling, transporting and treating it.
"Safe Handling, Treatment, Transport, and Disposal of Ebola-Contaminated Waste," (PDF*) was developed jointly with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the EPA. It helps employers take the necessary steps to protect workers whose jobs involve tasks throughout the waste cycle, from the point of waste generation through final disposition of treated waste products. The new guidance also encourages employers to create a waste management plan and secure necessary contracts and permits ahead of time in order to help avoid potential exposure hazards, security risks and storage problems.
In addition to exposure to the Ebola virus, the new interagency guidance also helps employers protect workers from physical and chemical hazards that may be associated with waste management. Visit OSHA's Ebola page for more information on how employers must protect their workers from the Ebola virus, as well as from these other related hazards.