ARCH Continuum of Care Alert 12/3/97

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Thu, 4 Dec 1997 07:56:18 -0600


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H. C. Sonny Covington @ I CAN! America
Lafayette -  New Iberia, LA  70563-1722
(318) 364-6239  Fax 318-367-9141

ARCH Homeless Network Alert
December 3, 1997
OSHA Tuberculosis Standard for Shelters and HCH Projects
BACKGROUND:=20
In the October 17 issue of the Federal Register, the Occupational Safety =
and Health Administration (OSHA) published its Proposed Standard on =
Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis. The standard directly addresses =
employee exposure to Tuberculosis (TB) in hospitals, nursing homes, =
homeless shelters, substance abuse treatment facilities and other =
workplaces. If adopted, the standard will require shelters and HCH =
programs to adopt significant engineering and procedural measures =
designed to reduce the risk of tuberculosis infection. The proposed =
standard would dramatically affect the provision of services to homeless =
people.=20

OSHA anticipates that homeless shelters and substance abuse treatment =
centers will use "early identification and transfer procedures for =
individuals with suspected or confirmed infectious TB." For these work =
settings, employers must [partial list]:



a.. make a formal determination regarding occupational exposure to TB =
for employees in various job classifications or performing certain =
duties;=20
    b.. use procedures to promptly identify individuals with suspected =
or confirmed infectious TB;=20
    c.. mask or segregate such individuals;=20
    d.. transfer such individuals to facilities with isolation rooms =
within five hours of identification;=20
    e.. provide temporary isolation (in rooms with engineering controls =
such as negative pressure, direct exhaust or HEPA filtration) if =
transfer cannot be accomplished within five hours of identification;=20
    f.. provide respirators for employees who enter a temporary =
isolation area or who work in an area where an unmasked individual with =
suspected or confirmed infectious TB is segregated and awaiting =
transfer;=20
    g.. assure proper fit and usage of the respirator;=20
    h.. provide medical surveillance, including physicals and skin =
tests, for employees who are occupationally exposed, and maintain =
records of the medical surveillance for 30 years;=20
    i.. follow detailed procedures following exposure incidents, which =
may include "medical removal" of certain employees and paid leave for up =
to 18 months;=20
    j.. label segregation and isolation areas and ventilation systems; =
and=20
    k.. provide appropriate training of staff and maintenance of =
engineering controls.=20
   =20
    The full text of the standard can be found at =
www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html or in libraries that =
provide the Federal Register.=20
RECOMMENDED ACTION:=20

Because of TB's deadly connection to homelessness and because of the =
standard's potential impact on program and facility operations, it is =
vital that homeless people, service providers, advocates, funders, =
public health authorities and local governments become familiar with =
OSHA's proposal and provide comments to OSHA by December 16, 1997.=20

Informal public hearings on the proposal begin on February 3, 1998, in =
Washington DC and may occur at other locations around the country. =
Written comments and notices of intent to appear at public hearings are =
due to OSHA by December 16, 1997. OSHA intends to convene a special =
public hearing on "homeless shelters"; parties interested in this =
special hearing must so indicate in their notice of intent to appear.=20

Comments on the proposed standard, Notices of Intention to Appear at the =
informal public hearings, testimony, and documentary evidence are to be =
submitted in quadruplicate to the Docket Officer, Docket No. H=AD371, =
Room N=AD2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, =
Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 219=AD7894. Comments of 10 pages =
or fewer may be transmitted by fax to (202) 219=AD5046, provided the =
original and three copies are sent to the Docket Officer thereafter.=20

For more information on the proposed standard and on OSHA's requests for =
comments, please read the Health Care for the Homeless Mobilizer or =
contact the National Health Care for the Homeless Council at =
hch@nashville.net. Please contact the National Health Care for the =
Homeless Council if you wish to help develop an appropriate response to =
the problem of tuberculosis among homeless people.=20



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H. C. Sonny Covington @ = I CAN!=20 America
Lafayette -  New Iberia, LA  70563-1722
(318)=20 364-6239  Fax 318-367-9141
 
 
ARCH Homeless Network = Alert
December 3, 1997 

OSHA Tuberculosis Standard for Shelters and HCH=20 Projects

BACKGROUND:=20

In the October 17 issue of the Federal Register, the = Occupational=20 Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its Proposed Standard = on=20 Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis. The standard directly addresses = employee=20 exposure to Tuberculosis (TB) in hospitals, nursing homes, homeless = shelters,=20 substance abuse treatment facilities and other workplaces. If adopted, = the=20 standard will require shelters and HCH programs to adopt significant = engineering=20 and procedural measures designed to reduce the risk of tuberculosis = infection.=20 The proposed standard would dramatically affect the provision of = services to=20 homeless people.=20

OSHA anticipates that homeless shelters and substance abuse treatment = centers=20 will use "early identification and transfer procedures for = individuals with=20 suspected or confirmed infectious TB." For these work settings, = employers=20 must [partial list]:

The full text of the standard can be found at www.access.g= po.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html=20 or in libraries that provide the Federal Register.=20

RECOMMENDED ACTION:=20

Because of TB's deadly connection to homelessness and because of the=20 standard's potential impact on program and facility operations, it is = vital that=20 homeless people, service providers, advocates, funders, public health=20 authorities and local governments become familiar with OSHA's proposal = and=20 provide comments to OSHA by December 16, 1997.=20

Informal public hearings on the proposal begin on February 3, 1998, = in=20 Washington DC and may occur at other locations around the country. = Written=20 comments and notices of intent to appear at public hearings are due to = OSHA by=20 December 16, 1997. OSHA intends to convene a special public hearing on=20 "homeless shelters"; parties interested in this special = hearing must=20 so indicate in their notice of intent to appear.=20

Comments on the proposed standard, Notices of Intention to Appear at = the=20 informal public hearings, testimony, and documentary evidence are to be=20 submitted in quadruplicate to the Docket Officer, Docket No. H­371, = Room=20 N­2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, = Washington, DC=20 20210, telephone (202) 219­7894. Comments of 10 pages or fewer may = be=20 transmitted by fax to (202) 219­5046, provided the original and = three copies=20 are sent to the Docket Officer thereafter.=20

For more information on the proposed standard and on OSHA's requests = for=20 comments, please read the Health= Care for=20 the Homeless Mobilizer or contact the National Health Care for the = Homeless=20 Council at hch@nashville.net. Please=20 contact the National Health Care for the Homeless Council if you wish to = help=20 develop an appropriate response to the problem of tuberculosis among = homeless=20 people.

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