ABSA - Alliance Annual Report - November 26, 2003

The American Biological Safety Association
November 26, 2003

  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed

    September 23, 2002


    The ABSA Alliance focuses primarily on biological safety with the association's members working with OSHA to share technical information and best practices in the control and mitigate of biological hazards in the workplace and to identify emerging biological safety issues and potential methods to address those issues. The Alliance's goals include:

    Training and education:

    • Provide the OSHA Training Institute, upon request, with educational and training materials and resources on biological safety.
    • Provide peer review, upon request, of OSHA's training curricula on topics relevant to biological safety.

    Outreach and communication:

    • Identify emerging occupational biological safety issues and methods to address these issues.
    • Identify individuals within ABSA to serve as direct points-of-contact for OSHA regarding specific biological safety issues.
    • Provide OSHA, upon request, with information about international regulations and guidelines relevant to biological safety.
    • Provide consultation, upon request, to OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialists regarding biological safety issues.
    • Assist OSHA in identifying and developing technical links on biological safety for the OSHA Website.

    Promoting the national dialogue concerning biological safety in the workplace:

    • Encourage employers to incorporate biological safety strategies into their overall safety and health programs.

    Implementation Team Members

    Barbara Johnson
    President, ABSA
    Melody Sands
    OSHA, Director, Health Enforcement
    Amber Hogan
    OSHA, Office of Health Enforcement
    Dionne Williams
    OSHA, Office of Health Enforcement
    Maureen Best
    Past President, ABSA
    Stefan Wagener
    Incoming Presidient, ABSA
    Bill Homovec
    Chair, ABSA Technical Review Committee
    Bob Curtis
    OSHA, Director, Program Support Division, Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC)
    Alicia Fearick
    Nilgun Tolek
    OSHA, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances

    Contributors (ABSA members)

    Debra Hunt
    Jack Keene
    Richard Gilpin
    Bob Hawley
    Gene Cole
    Wayne Thomann
    Diane Flemming
    Mary Cipriano

    Evaluation Period

    September 23, 2002 through November 26, 2003

  2. Implementation Team Meetings

    November 5, 2003
    Kick-off meeting, in person
    March 26, 2003
    Quarterly implementation team meeting (teleconference)
    September 30, 2003
    Quarterly implementation team meeting (teleconference)
  3. Events and Products

    Outreach and Communication

    • Events
      • "Elements of a Biosafety Program," workshop presented at the Second Annual OSHA Compliance Assistance Conference, June 12, 2003, by Debra Hunt, Assistant Clinical Professor, Director, Biological Safety Division of the Office of Occupational and Environmental Safety, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC
      • "Improving Responses to Bioterrorism: Lessons Learned from the Anthrax Attacks," Robert Curtis, USDOL/OSHA, Salt Lake City, UT, John H. Bridges III, USPS, Washington, DC; David Ippolito, USDOL/OSHA, Washington, DC., at ABSA's 46th Annual Biological Safety Conference, October 13, 2003, in Philadelphia, PA.
    • Products
      • OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages (existing or under development) to which ABSA members have contributed expertise and/or served on editorial boards:
        • Botulism
        • Tularemia
        • Plague
        • Viral hemorrhagic fevers
        • Anthrax
        • Legionnaire's Disease
        • Cholera
        • HAZWOPER
        • Dirty Bombs
        • Indoor Air Quality
        • Bloodborne Pathogens
      • ABSA expertise was provided to OSHA as it updated its approach to the issue of post-mortem HIV blood-testing
      • At OSHA's request, ABSA provided an interpretation on the applicability of cell lines and plasma derivatives as "blood products" under the BPS.
      • At OSHA's request, ABSA has written a white paper on infectious dose. The paper has been through several reviews and is at the typesetter now. OSHA will post it to the Biological Agents and ABSA Alliance Web pages as soon as it is ready.
  4. Results

    The value to OSHA of having direct access to experts in the biological safety field has been significant, although less than it might have been, for two reasons. To date, some requests for information have gone unanswered, apparently due the ABSA point of contact being on travel a great deal of the time. ABSA is looking into modifying the logistics of requesting assistance to alleviate this problem. In addition, due to changes in staffing at Salt Lake Technical Center, additions of ABSA volunteers to selected editorial boards have not been completed but are being updated.

    Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.)

    Number of Individuals Reached or Trained

    "Elements of a Biosafety Program," workshop presented at the Second Annual OSHA Compliance Assistance Conference, June 12, 2003


    OSHA Roundtable at ABSA's 46th Annual Biological Safety Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

    ?? (Ask Bob)



  5. Upcoming Milestones

    • Renewal of the Alliance
    • Continuing input on an as-needed basis as well as by serving on editorial boards for OSHA's electronic assistance products.