Occupations with documented TB exposure
  • Healthcare settings:
    • Healthcare employees may be at risk for exposure to TB and healthcare employers must take appropriate measures to control and prevent exposure to their employees.
  • Correctional facility workers:
    • Approximately 2.3% of TB cases reported in 2021 in the United States occurred among people 15 years of age or older who were current residents of correctional facilities.
    • NOTE: Many correctional facility workers are not covered by federal OSHA because they are State or local government employees. In States with OSHA-approved State plans these workers would be covered by State standards which are at least as effective as federal OSHA standards. In federal prisons these workers are covered by the federal agency safety program under Executive Order 12196. See 29 CFR Part 1960. Federal OSHA requirements and standards apply in Federal facilities.
  • Zoo workers:
    • Captive elephants can spread TB to humans. Epidemiologic investigations have documented elephant-to-human transmission of TB in multiple states.
    • In 2019, eight of twelve employees who primarily worked in an elephant barn tested positive for TB. Some high-risk activities included cleaning of elephants and their housing, which included pressure washing (an aerosol-generating activity).

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that can affect people and animals and is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is generally found in the lungs but can attack any part of the body. Once TB disease develops, it can be very contagious and cause symptoms such as coughing, fever and fatigue. People with TB disease can spread the bacteria through the air when they cough, speak, sneeze, or sing. TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. This condition is called latent TB infection (LTBI). LTBI is not contagious and typically causes few or no symptoms. Although most people with latent TB infection never experience any symptoms, without treatment one in ten people with latent TB infection will develop TB disease.

The page includes sections on:


Provides background information on Tuberculosis including source and transmission.

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Highlights OSHA requirements and related information that may be applicable in the event of possible worker exposure to Tuberculosis.

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Control and Prevention

Discusses strategies for controlling and preventing worker exposure to Tuberculosis.

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Provides links and references to additional resources related to Tuberculosis.

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