- Safety and Health Topics
Plague is a disease well-known to humankind. Throughout history, in a series of epidemics, plague has claimed the lives of millions the world over. Human plague in the United States occurs as mostly scattered cases in rural areas effecting 10 to 20 persons each year. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports 1,000 to 3,000 cases every year.
Conditions that once facilitated the rampant spread of plague have been remedied in much of the world, making epidemics unlikely. However, a bioterrorist release of plague could result in a rapid spread of the pneumonic form of the disease, which could have devastating consequences.
There are currently no specific OSHA standards for plague.
Provides references that may aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with plague.
Plague as a Bioweapon
Provides information on the use of plague as a bioweapon and associated issues to be considered during a plague outbreak.
Highlights information on the variety of controls that should be implemented in order to protect workers from exposure to plague.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to plague.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.