On September 23, 2002, OSHA and the ABSA formed an Alliance to enhance workplace health and safety, and to assist employers, including small businesses, in developing a preventive focus on biological safety issues. The Alliance was renewed on October 13, 2004, January 29, 2007, and March 3, 2009.
Based on discussions regarding the future of the Alliance, OSHA and ABSA agreed to conclude the agreement as of August 28, 2013. A number of successes have resulted from OSHA and ABSA working together to meet the Alliance goals. For example:
- ABSA developed resources addressing competency, proper handling and safety procedures for working with infectious systems/agents in a laboratory such as the Lentivirus Vector Fact Sheet; the General Microbiology Fact Sheet; Biological Safety Officer (BSO)/Biological Safety Professional (BSP) Competency Fact Sheet; and the Principles of Good Microbiological Practice Fact Sheet. The fact sheets were posted on ABSA's Web site and linked to from a variety of OSHA's Web site locations.
- Since 2003, ABSA has provided opportunities at the Annual Biological Safety Conference and Exposition for OSHA personnel to speak to their members on regulatory updates and to staff an Alliance exhibit booth.
- ABSA representatives served on the editorial boards for the following OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages: Anthrax; Avian Flu; Biological Agents; Blood borne Pathogens and Needle stick Prevention; Botulism; Foodborne Disease; Hantavirus; Hazardous Waste; Indoor Air Quality; Ionizing Radiation; Legionnaires' Disease; Mold; Plague; Ricin; Smallpox; Tularemia; and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers.
- ABSA representatives provided expertise on the editorial boards for OSHA's Anthrax, Hospital, and Legionnaires' disease eTools.
- ABSA supported the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Report Prepared by: Morgan Seuberling, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, September 6, 2013.