According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2008, nearly one-third of the world's population is infected with Tuberculosis (TB), which kills almost 1.6 million people per year. TB is now the second most common cause of death from infectious disease in the world after human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). In the mid-1980s, a resurgence of outbreaks in the United States brought renewed attention to TB. An increase in high risk, immuno-suppressed individuals, particularly those infected with HIV, lead to an increase in TB cases. Drug-resistant strains of this deadly disease also contributed to the problem. However, through a broad range of Federal and community initiatives, TB rates have declined steadily. For 2010, a total of 11,182 tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States. The TB rate was 3.6 cases per 100,000 population, a decrease of 3.8% from the rate reported for 2009. More...
TB is addressed in specific standards for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses and in specific standards for the general industry.
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.
- Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis. CPL 02-02-078, (June 30, 2015). Provides general enforcement policies and procedures to be followed when conducting inspections and issuing citations related to occupational exposure to tuberculosis (TB).
- Tuberculosis and Respiratory Protection Enforcement. OSHA Letter of Interpretation, (March 24, 2008). Resumes full enforcement of the entire Respiratory Protection standard, including 29 CFR 1910.134(f)(2).
- Helping Health Care Workers to Breathe Easy - OSHA updates TB enforcement instruction. OSHA and The Joint Commission (JC)/Joint Commission Resources (JCR) Alliance, (March 2016).
- Hospital. OSHA eTool. Focuses on hazards and controls found in the hospital setting. Tuberculosis is addressed in the following areas: