News Release USDL: 98-49
Thursday, February 5, 1998
Contact: Bill Wright (202)219-8151
OSHA ANNOUNCES HEARING SCHEDULE
ON TUBERCULOSIS PROPOSAL
The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) announced today the
dates and locations for informal public
hearings on the proposed standard to protect
workers exposed to tuberculosis.
Public hearings will begin on April 7,
1998, in Washington, D.C., in the auditorium
of the Department of Labor (Frances Perkins
Building), 200 Constitution Ave., N.W.,
beginning at 10 a.m. The hearings will begin
at 9 a.m. on succeeding days.
OSHA has also scheduled hearings in three
additional cities to accommodate interested
parties who are unable to attend those planned
for Washington. They are:
(beginning May 5)
Los Angeles Convention Center
1204 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(beginning May 19)
Department of Labor
201 Varick St.
Rooms 831 A/B & 841 C/D
New York, New York 10014
(beginning June 2)
State of Illinois Building
160 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Hearings will begin in each city at
10 a.m. on the first day and 9 a.m.
each succeeding day.
The agency also corrected the deadline
for submission of written comments that
was incorrectly reported in a previous
Federal Register notice; comments and
notices of intent to appear at the public
hearings must be submitted by Feb. 17,
1998. The deadline for submission of
testimony for those who plan to testify
for more than 10 minutes at a hearing or
who are submitting documentary evidence
is Feb. 27, 1998.
OSHA proposed the tuberculosis standard
on Oct. 17, 1997, to help protect an
estimated 5.3 million workers in more than
100,000 hospitals, homeless shelters,
long-term care facilities for the elderly,
detention facilities and other work settings
with a high risk of TB infection. Though
the rate of active TB in the general
population has declined overall during
the past 40 years, the risk for workers
who care for clients and patients infected
with the disease continues to be high, and
in some areas is growing. Additionally,
new strains of TB have emerged that are
resistant to current treatment.
OSHA estimates that implementation of
the safeguards envisioned in the proposal
would save more than 130 lives annually,
while preventing between 21,000 and 25,000
infections during the same period. Further,
it's estimated that the proposal would save
from $89 million to $116 million in medical
costs for treatment of tuberculosis and lost
production caused by employee absences from
work and disabilities associated with active
cases of the disease.
Comments on the proposed standard, as well
as notices of intent to appear at hearings,
testimony and documentary evidence must be
submitted in quadruplicate to the Docket
Officer, Docket No. H-371, Room N-2625,
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution
Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments
of 10 pages or less may be transmitted via
fax to (202) 219-5046.
The public hearing schedule will be
published in the Feb. 5, 1998 Federal