Pandemic Flu Guidance

OSHA provides safety and health guidance on preparing workplaces for an influenza pandemic.

The agency offers general guidance for all types of workplaces, describes the differences between seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza, and presents information on the nature of a potential pandemic, how the virus is likely to spread, and how exposure is likely to occur.

To help employers determine appropriate workplace practices and precautions, the guidance divides workplaces and work operations into four risk zones, according to the likelihood of employees’ occupational exposure to pandemic influenza.

Recommendations for employee protection are presented for each of the four levels of anticipated risk and include engineering controls, work practices and use of personal protective equipment such as respirators and surgical masks and their relative value in protecting employees.

The guidance also encourages employers to prepare a plan to deal with a depleted workforce during a pandemic.

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