- Safety and Health Topics
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)
|29 CFR Part 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness|
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
|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)
|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)
|29 CFR 1960 – Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters|
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.
- Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in General Industry. . CPL 02-01-050, (February 10, 2011). Establishes OSHA's general enforcement and guidance policy for its standards addressing PPE. It instructs OSHA enforcement personnel on both the agency's interpretations and the procedures for enforcing these standards.
- Rules of agency practice and procedure concerning OSHA access to employee medical records. CPL 02-02-072, (August 22, 2007). Provides guidance to OSHA personnel concerning rule application and agency practice and procedure set forth at 29 CFR 1913.10 when accessing personally identifiable worker medical records. Guidance also covers authorization by the Assistant Secretary to conduct a limited worker medical information review when OSHA standards require such information and there is a need to gain access to determine compliance.
- Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. CPL 02-02-069, (November 27, 2001). Establishes policies and provides clarification to ensure uniform adherence to inspection procedures when conducting inspections to enforce the BBP Standard.
- See also Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. Provides answers to the most commonly asked questions related to the BBP standard.
- Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard. CPL 02-02-079, (July 9, 2015). Establishes policies and provides clarifications to ensure uniform enforcement of the Hazard Communication standard.
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.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (October 21, 1999). Standard Interpretations. Employees (daycare workers) required to provide first aid are covered by 1910.1030.
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.
There are twenty-eight 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.