OSHA Urges Employers to Protect Workers from Exposure to Measles
OSHA recently published a new web page to provide information about preventing and reducing workers' exposure to measles as well as information on vaccination and treatment. According to OSHA, workers in childcare and healthcare, laboratories, and environmental services and those who travel abroad have the greatest risk of exposure and infection. The agency stresses that workers may be exposed to measles whenever the virus is circulating in their community or when performing work in affected areas. Workers may also be exposed if they come into contact with infected individuals who arrive in the United States from abroad. CDC believes that the outbreaks occurring in the U.S. may be linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries where large outbreaks are occurring.  This year, 1,109 individual cases of measles had been reported in the U.S. as of July 3. According to CDC, this is the greatest number of cases since 1992. OSHA’s website states that workers who have not received the measles vaccine or who have not had the disease can get measles if they are exposed. “According to the CDC, the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective,” OSHA says. “The best way to prevent workers from getting measles on the job is to encourage workers at risk of exposure to get the MMR vaccine.” OSHA’s new page provides general guidance for workers and employers of workers who may be exposed to measles as well as specific guidance for protecting workers who may be at increased exposure risk. Information about measles that may aid in the recognition and assessment of infection risk is also available.  More information about measles, including current data on the number of reported cases, is available on CDC’s website.