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Smallpox

Smallpox - Photo Credit: iStock-91438311 | Copyright: justme_yo
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Overview

Smallpox is an acute, contagious, and sometimes fatal disease caused by infection with a virus known as the variola virus. Smallpox outbreaks have occurred from time to time for thousands of years, but in 1980 the disease was declared eradicated following worldwide vaccination programs. Except for stockpiles in high-security laboratories, the virus has been eliminated. However, if obtained and deliberately released as a bioweapon, smallpox could cause a public health catastrophe.

OSHA Standards

There are currently no specific OSHA standards for smallpox.

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Smallpox Disease

Provides references that aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with smallpox.

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Smallpox as a Bioweapon

Provides information on the use of smallpox as a bioweapon and associated issues to be considered during a smallpox outbreak.

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Control

Provides additional guidance specific to various types of workers, and associated issues on recognizing and controlling exposure to smallpox.

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Additional Resources

Provides links and references to additional resources related to small pox.

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How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

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