- Safety and Health Topics
Approximately 200 cases of tularemia in humans are reported annually in the United States, mostly in persons living in the south-central and western states. Tularemia is an occupational risk for farmers, foresters, and veterinarians, and is listed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the six category A, or high-priority, biological warfare agents. Nearly all cases of tularemia occur in rural areas and are associated with the bites of infected ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies or with the handling of infected rodents, rabbits, or hares. Less commonly, tularemia can be contracted through ingestion of contaminated food or water or by inhalation. Release of the bacteria in a aerosolized form is the most likely method to be used in bioterrorism. Tularemia is extremely infectious. Relatively few bacteria are required to cause the disease, which is why it is an attractive weapon for use in bioterrorism.
OSHA standards do not specifically address tularemia.
Provides references to aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with tularemia.
Provides references that focus on the preparedness and response of the medical community in the event of tularemia exposure.
Control and Prevention
Includes references that provide information about the control and prevention of tularemia exposure.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to tularemia.
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 help 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.