OSHA chief: Infection standard still on table

Reg would be closely aligned with CDC

Though there was considerable pushback from infection preventionists when the idea of a federal infectious disease standard was proposed last year, recent comments from the chief of OSHA reveal that the controversial regulation is still on the agenda.

Hospitals aren't doing enough to protect their employees from infectious diseases, David Michaels, MD, PhD, administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), said in recently to members of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare.

"Health care-acquired infections are a persistent problem," he said. "We believe the increasing levels of [MDROs] in health care settings really tell us we should do something much more comprehensive than we've done now. Most current infection control efforts are intended primarily for patient protection. There really isn't enough done on worker protection."