The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an Ebola Web Page for employers providing information on Ebola and how to protect workers.
OSHA states that workers, including healthcare and airline workers, performing tasks involving close contact with symptomatic individuals with Ebola, or who work in environments contaminated or reasonably anticipated to be contaminated with infectious body fluids, are at risk of exposure.
OSHA’s guidance includes information on hazard recognition, medical information, standards, and control and prevention.
OSHA has also issued a “Fact Sheet” called “Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces: Guidance for Workers and Employers in Non-Healthcare/Non-Laboratory Settings”.
Here in Canada, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada have also issued materials and guidance regarding Ebola.
Employers – particularly those whose workers may be at greater risk of exposure to Ebola – should prepare a plan for dealing with Ebola, including the logistics of telecommuting arrangements. Employers’ obligation under health and safety legislation to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers, includes an obligation to take reasonable precautions relating to infectious diseases.
Stay tuned to Occupationalhealthandsafetylaw.com for further workplace-safety updates relating to Ebola.