Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA


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Recording workplace measles exposures

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate that covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

While 29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2)(viii) exempts recording of the common cold and flu, measles is a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job.

Visit OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements page for more information.

This section highlights OSHA standards and directives (instructions for compliance officers) and other related information that may apply to worker exposures to measles.

There is no specific OSHA standard covering measles. However, some OSHA requirements may apply to preventing occupational exposure to measles. Among the most relevant are:

  • OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I and, in construction, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
  • OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard 29 CFR 1910.1030), which applies to occupational exposure to human blood and other potentially infectious materials, including saliva in dental procedures. The BBP standard applies to occupational exposure to some human body fluids, including saliva in dental procedures, which can transmit measles. The BBP standard also describes measures that could serve as a framework to control non-bloodborne exposures that can transmit measles, including exposures to body fluids (e.g., sputum, respiratory and nasal secretions, and saliva outside of dental procedures) to which the standard does not apply.
  • The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), which requires employers to furnish to each worker "employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

Employers must also protect their workers from exposure to chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection. Employers should be aware that common sanitizers and sterilizers could contain hazardous chemicals. Where workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals, employers must comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910.1200 and, in construction, 29 CFR 1926.59) and other applicable OSHA chemical standards. OSHA provides information about hazardous chemicals used in hospitals in the Housekeeping section of its Hospital eTool.

Depending on the specific work task, setting, and exposure to other biological or chemical agents, additional OSHA standards that may apply include:

Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness (29 CFR 1904)
Related Information
29 CFR Part 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
Related Information
Subpart I – Personal Protective Equipment 1910.132, General requirements
1910.133, Eye and face protection
1910.134, Respiratory protection
1910.138, Hand protection
Subpart J – General Environmental Controls 1910.141, Sanitation
Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances 1910.1020, Access to employee exposure and medical records
1910.1030, Bloodborne pathogens
1910.1200 Hazard communication
Construction (29 CFR 1926)
Related Information
Subpart C – General Safety and Health Provisions 1926.33, Access to employee exposure and medical records
Subpart D – Occupational Health and Environmental Controls 1926.51, Sanitation
Subpart E – Personal Protective Equipment and Life Saving Equipment 1926.95, Criteria for personal protective equipment
1926.102, Eye and face protection
1926.103, Respiratory protection
Federal Agencies (29 CFR 1960)
Related Information
29 CFR 1960 – Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters
Additional Directives

Note: The "Directives" bullets above link to directives related to each OSHA standard. The directives in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.

Additional Letter of Interpretation

Note: The “Letters of interpretation” bullets above link to letters related to each OSHA standard. The letters in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.

Retaliation and Whistleblower Protections
  • Paragraph 11(c) of the OSH Act, 29 USC 660(c), prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for raising concerns about safety and health conditions. OSHA encourages workers who suffer such discrimination to submit a complaint to OSHA. Workers must file their complaints within 30 days after such violation occurs.
  • Workers in specific industries, such as the airline, maritime, trucking, railroad, public transit, or food preparation industries, may have additional whistleblower protections that have longer opportunities to report a complaint of retaliation for raising concerns about measles or cleaning chemicals; such workers should contact OSHA if they believe they have experienced retaliation even if it has been more than 30 days since the retaliation occurred.
State Standards

There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

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