Legionellosis (Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever)

Standards

There currently is no specific OSHA standard for Legionellosis; however, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), (referred to as the "General Duty Clause") requires employers to furnish to each worker "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm" to its workers. OSHA may enforce the General Duty Clause where a workplace has a recognized, serious hazard for which there is no specific OSHA standard (e.g., occupational exposure to Legionella in water systems). Employers should know the hazards and risks with having water sources in the workplace and maintain all systems to prevent Legionella growth.

Some OSHA standards and regulations that may apply to a workplace with the potential for Legionella contamination and growth include, but are not limited to, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (29 CFR 1910.132) and Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) standards. In addition, chemicals used for cleaning and water system disinfection may be considered hazardous, requiring additional precautions under the Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).

Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, 29 USC 660(c), prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for raising concerns about safety and health conditions. OSHA encourages workers who suffer such discrimination to submit a complaint to OSHA. Workers have 30 days to file their complaints.

OSHA Standards

Depending on the specific work task, setting, and exposure to other biological or chemical agents, examples of other OSHA requirements that may apply include:

Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness (29 CFR 1904)
Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness (29 CFR 1904)
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1904 - RECORDING AND REPORTING OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES

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General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
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1910 Subpart H - Hazardous Materials

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1910 Subpart I - Personal Protective Equipment

1910.132, General requirements.

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1910.133, Eye and face protection.

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1910.134, Respiratory Protection.

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1910.138, Hand Protection.

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1910 Subpart J - General Environmental Controls

1910.141, Sanitation.

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1910 Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances

1910.1020, Access to employee exposure and medical records.

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1910.1200, Hazard Communication.

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Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters (29 CFR 1960)
Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters (29 CFR 1960)
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1960 - BASIC PROGRAM ELEMENTS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS AND RELATED MATTERS

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State Standards

There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

Additional Directives

Note: The directives in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.