OSHA delays TB general industry respiratory standard until July

Share this content:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said it will delay until July 1 enforcing the general industry respiratory standard, which requires healthcare providers to protect workers from potential exposure to tuberculosis. The requirements include mandatory annual fit testing of respirators.

OSHA was considering a rule proposed in 1997 but recently decided to withdraw it and begin applying the general industry standard.

"Not only has fit-testing not been shown to be effective for biological agents such as tuberculosis, but it would also be extremely costly for hospitals," said Roslyne Schulman, American Hospital Association senior associate director. "Instead, the AHA believes that what is needed is improved and certified respirators."

The OSHA announcement can be found at www.osha.gov/ under "OSHA News."