Web Alert

NIOSH sites contain fact sheets, alerts, guidelines

By Geoff Kelafant, MD, MSPH, FACOEM
Medical Director, Occupational Health Dept.
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon, IL
Vice Chairman and Communications Chairman
Medical Center Occupational Health Section
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Arlington Heights, IL

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Resources:

Guidelines for Protecting the Safety and Health of Health Care Workers

Although this document was published in 1988 and a few parts (particularly the sections dealing with infectious disease) are somewhat dated, it remains a wealth of useful information regarding hazard evaluation and control. This document, available in its entirety, serves as an excellent starting point, with listings broken out by department/area as well as by specific chemical and physical hazards. Of course, more recent references also should be checked when dealing with a particular problem. According to NIOSH, the document presently is under revision, although no firm date has been given for its publication.

NIOSH Publications

Users can click on numerous useful links, including alerts (such as the recent latex alert for health care workers), current intelligence bulletins, fact sheets, Federal Register notices, hazard controls, Health Hazard Evaluation Program, hazard IDs, respirator standards, videos, information packets, and the complete NIOSH publications list.

NIOSH Selected Topics — Health Care Workers

This page includes links to specific information such as a latex allergy fact sheet, control of smoke from laser procedures, engineering controls and work practices for ethylene oxide sterilizers, controlling exposures to nitrous oxide, indoor air quality health hazard evaluation, guide for selecting and using particulate respirators, workplace violence, respiratory protection guide for TB, guide to sharps disposal containers, and designing safe lifting jobs.