New safety and health guidance from OSHA is designed to help healthcare workers and their employers prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers(available, released Monday by the agency, is a comprehensive resource for healthcare planners and practitioners. In addition to offering information and tools to assist the industry in preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic, the new guidance includes:

  • technical information on infection control and industrial hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection in healthcare settings;
  • workplace preparations and planning issues; and
  • OSHA standards that have special importance to pandemic preparedness planners and responders in the industry.

The guidance includes Internet resources, communication tools, sample infection control programs, and self-triage and home care resources. It also offers how-to advice on diagnosis and treatment of staff during a pandemic, developing planning and supply checklists, and risk communication.