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TB update includes 'potential OSHA oversight'

July 17, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Washington – OSHA's updated tuberculosis directive applies to general enforcement procedures for conducting inspections and issuing citations related to occupational TB hazards, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman said. The directive took effect June 30, 2015.

"The directive does not instruct OSHA safety and health compliance officers to conduct programmed (local, regional or national emphasis program) inspections for TB in any workplace, regardless of the number of employees," she said.

"Dental offices with 10 or fewer employees are exempted from programmed safety inspections. However, the exemption does not apply to inspections resulting from health or safety complaints or programmed health inspections developed by a local, regional or national office," the OSHA communications officer said in response to an ADA News query.

"Although the OSHA guidance (see related story) is new, dental offices have been covered under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and therefore potential OSHA oversight since 2005," she said. The 2005 CDC guidelines include recommendations to prevent the transmission of tuberculosis in dental care settings.