- Safety and Health Topics
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...
Tuberculosis is addressed in specific OSHA standards for Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and General Industry.
Provides references to aid in recognizing and evaluating hazards associated with TB in the workplace.
Provides references to aid in implementing controls associated with TB in the workplace.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to tuberculosis.
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.
- Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis. OSHA Directive 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: