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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AB46 Publication ID: Spring 2002 
Title: Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis 
Abstract: In 1993, the Labor Coalition to Fight TB in the Workplace petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an occupational health standard to protect workers who care for or oversee patients or others with active tuberculosis (TB) against the transmission of TB. After reviewing the available information, OSHA preliminarily concluded that a significant risk of occupational transmission of TB exists for some workers in some work settings and began rulemaking on a proposed standard. Examples of workers at risk of contracting TB as a result of their work are health care workers, detention facility personnel, and homeless shelter employees. On October 17, 1997, OSHA published its proposed standard for occupational exposure to TB (62 FR 54160). The proposed standard would require employers to protect TB-exposed workers using infection control measures that have been shown to be highly effective in reducing or eliminating work-related TB infections. Such measures include procedures for the early identification of individuals with infectious TB, isolation of individuals with infectious TB using appropriate ventilation, use of respiratory protection in certain situations, and skin testing and training of employees. After the close of the written comment period for the proposed standard, informal public hearings were held in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, and Chicago, IL. The post-hearing comment period closed on October 5, 1998. On June 17, 1999 OSHA reopened the rulemaking record for 90 days to submit the Agency's report on homeless shelters and certain other documents that became available to the Agency after the close of the post-hearing comment period. During this limited reopening of the rulemaking record, OSHA also requested interested parties to submit comments and data on the Agency's preliminary risk assessment in order to obtain the best, most recent data for providing the most accurate estimates of the occupational risk of tuberculosis. At the request of Congress, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (IOM) conducted a study of OSHA's proposal and the need for a TB standard. That study was completed in January 2001, and concluded that OSHA should move forward with a standard modeled after the CDC guidelines and tailored to the extent of TB risk present in the community. The IOM study concluded that an OSHA standard was needed to maintain national TB rates among health care and other employees at their current levels and to prevent future outbreaks of multi-drug resistant and other forms of TB among these workers. OSHA has reopened the record to obtain comment on the IOM study, the draft final risk assessment and the peer reviewers' comment on the risk assessment. 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: State, local, or tribal governments 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1035   
Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
SBREFA Panel  09/10/1996    
NPRM  10/17/1997  62 FR 54160   
NPRM Comment Period End  02/17/1998  62 FR 65388   
Post Hearing Comment End  10/05/1998    
Record Reopening  06/17/1999  64 FR 32447   
Second Reopening Comment Period End  06/28/1999  64 FR 34625   
Reopening Comment Period End  08/02/1999    
Third Reopening Comment Period  01/24/2002  67 FR 3465   
Extension of Comment Period of Reopening  03/05/2002  67 FR 9934   
Reopening Comment Period End  03/25/2002    
Comment Period End  05/24/2002  67 FR 9934   
Next Step To Be Determined  10/00/2002    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations  Federalism: Yes 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
Agency Contact:
Steven F. Witt
Director, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3700, FP Building,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-2200
Fax:202 693-1671
Email: witt.steven@dol.gov