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2016. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO TUBERCULOSIS

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1035

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: On August 25, 1993, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was petitioned by the Labor Coalition to Fight TB in the Workplace to initiate rulemaking for a permanent standard to protect workers against occupational transmission of tuberculosis (TB). Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed recommendations for controlling the spread of TB in several work settings (e.g., correctional institutions, health-care facilities, and homeless shelters), the petitioners stated that in every recent TB outbreak investigated by the CDC, noncompliance with CDC's TB control guidelines was evident. After reviewing the available information, OSHA has preliminarily concluded that significant risk of occupational transmission of TB exists for some workers and has initiated a 6(b) standard rulemaking. The Agency has developed a proposed rule that would require certain employers to take steps to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to TB. OSHA already regulates the biological hazard of bloodborne pathogens (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B) under 29 CFR 1910.1030 and believes that development of a TB standard is consistent with the Agency's mission and previous activity.

OSHA has consulted with parties outside of the Agency with regard to the developing proposal. The draft preliminary Risk Assessment was peer-reviewed by four individuals with specific knowledge in the areas of tuberculosis and risk assessment. In addition, OSHA has conducted stakeholder meetings with representatives of relevant professional organizations, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups. These meetings provided the opportunity for both general and frontline stakeholder representatives to present OSHA with their individual comments, observations, and concerns about the contents of a proposal. The proposal was also reviewed by and commented on by affected small business entities under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) and reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In response to the consultations and reviews, OSHA made changes to improve the proposed standard.

The proposed standard was published in the Federal Register on October 17, 1997 (62 FR 54160). Informal public hearings have been scheduled to begin April 7, 1998 in Washington, DC; May 5 in Los Angeles, CA; May 19 in New York City; and June 2 in Chicago, IL.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite

SBREFA Panel 09/10/96
NPRM 10/17/97 62 FR 54160
NPRM Comment Period End 02/17/98 62 FR 65388
Final Action 00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations

Government Levels Affected: State, Local, Tribal, Federal

Additional Information: During the rulemaking, OSHA met with small business stakeholders to discuss their concerns, and conducted an initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to identify any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities. In addition, OSHA is conducting a special study of homeless shelters and will designate certain hearing dates for persons who wish to testify on homeless shelter issues.

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075
Fax: 202 219-7125

RIN: 1218-AB46




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