OSHA Partners with Local Health Entities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area for an Ebola and Infectious Disease Symposium
In order to share best practices and lessons learned about the Ebola virus and other highly infectious diseases, OSHA Region VI and the OSHA Education Center at The University of Texas at Arlington co-sponsored an Ebola and Infectious Disease Symposium.
The March 12th event had attendees from across the nation with more than 354 participants all together. The symposium was free and especially focused on educating those who may be at a higher risk of exposure to infectious diseases, including emergency service providers, healthcare practitioners, frontline workers, safety personnel, and those in the social service industry.
The symposium featured presentations from Stephen Boyd, Area Director of the Dallas Area Office and Christopher Brown from the OSHA National Office. There were also presentations from the Department of State Health Services, Regions 2 and 3, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and the Denton and Tarrant County Health Departments.
The symposium was designed to foster open communication and coordination among those in susceptible workforces. In particular, the discussions focused on how the Dallas/Fort Worth area would respond to patients with highly infectious diseases and a review of relevant federal regulations, such as the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. There was also a demonstration of the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) new approach for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by healthcare workers when treating patients with Ebola.
One attendee remarked, "The symposium gave details about preventing job-acquired infectious diseases, including Ebola. OSHA answered the questions directly using the same language as the healthcare industry. Everyone was on the same page."
OSHA continually strives to produce information that is accessible and helpful. The symposium was a good opportunity to distribute new publications on Ebola, such as the Safe Handling, Treatment, Transport and Disposal of Ebola-Contaminated Waste Fact Sheet (PDF*).
Portions of the Symposium can be viewed here: Ebola and Infectious Disease Symposium.
As of March 2015
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