OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today the dates and locations for informal public hearings on the proposed standard to protect workers exposed to tuberculosis.
Public hearings will begin on April 7, 1998, in Washington, D.C., in the auditorium of the Department of Labor (Frances Perkins Building), 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., beginning at 10 a.m. The hearings will begin at 9 a.m. on succeeding days.
OSHA has also scheduled hearings in three additional cities to accommodate interested parties who are unable to attend those planned for Washington. They are:
(beginning May 5)
Los Angeles Convention Center
1204 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(beginning May 19)
Department of Labor
201 Varick St.
Rooms 831 A/B & 841 C/D
New York, New York 10014
(beginning June 2)
State of Illinois Building
160 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Hearings will begin in each city at 10 a.m. on the first day and 9 a.m. each succeeding day.
The agency also corrected the deadline for submission of written comments that was incorrectly reported in a previous Federal Register notice; comments and notices of intent to appear at the public hearings must be submitted by Feb. 17, 1998. The deadline for submission of testimony for those who plan to testify for more than 10 minutes at a hearing or who are submitting documentary evidence is Feb. 27, 1998.
OSHA proposed the tuberculosis standard on Oct. 17, 1997, to help protect an estimated 5.3 million workers in more than 100,000 hospitals, homeless shelters, long-term care facilities for the elderly, detention facilities and other work settings with a high risk of TB infection. Though the rate of active TB in the general population has declined overall during the past 40 years, the risk for workers who care for clients and patients infected with the disease continues to be high, and in some areas is growing. Additionally, new strains of TB have emerged that are resistant to current treatment.
OSHA estimates that implementation of the safeguards envisioned in the proposal would save more than 130 lives annually, while preventing between 21,000 and 25,000 infections during the same period. Further, it's estimated that the proposal would save from $89 million to $116 million in medical costs for treatment of tuberculosis and lost production caused by employee absences from work and disabilities associated with active cases of the disease.
Comments on the proposed standard, as well as notices of intent to appear at hearings, testimony and documentary evidence must be submitted in quadruplicate to the Docket Officer, Docket No. H-371, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of 10 pages or less may be transmitted via fax to (202) 219-5046.
The public hearing schedule will be published in the Feb. 5, 1998 Federal Register.
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