CDC, in collaboration with various clinical partners, presents the webinar series Tune in to Safe Healthcare, which focuses on a variety of infection control and prevention topics. These webinars feature CDC and other experts and serve as a tool to educate healthcare providers on best practices to improve patient safety. Webinars are offered free of cost with an opportunity to earn continuing education. Visit the CDC website for more information.
IAC’s State Information web section on immunize.org is the “go-to” place for finding up-to-date information about state immunization websites, immunization mandates, state/city/territory immunization program managers and perinatal hepatitis B coordinators, and Indian Health Service (IHS) area immunization coordinators.
Opioid overdoses are increasing in the workplace, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics finding that between 2013 and 2016, overdose deaths from non-medical use of drugs and alcohol increased by 38 percent annually. In response to this trend, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a new fact sheet, Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose in the Workplace. It provides a series of steps for employers to consider when deciding whether to make the overdose reversal medication available in the workplace. For more information, see the news release. When implementing a naloxone program, employers are reminded of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to provide their employees with a safe and healthful workplace.
OSHA issued a memorandum clarifying the agency’s position that its rule prohibiting employer retaliation against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses does not prohibit workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing. The department believes that many employers who implement safety incentive programs and/or conduct post-incident drug testing do so to promote workplace safety and health. Action taken under a safety incentive program or post-incident drug testing policy would only violate OSHA’s anti-retaliation rule if the employer took the action to penalize an employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness rather than for the legitimate purpose of promoting workplace safety and health. For more information, see the memorandum.
Standing orders protocols (SOPs) are known to improve immunization coverage rates, but they are underutilized by providers serving adult patients. The content for a six-part webinar series will help healthcare settings implement SOPs for adult immunizations.
What are the criteria for evidence of immunity to varicella?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) considers evidence of immunity to varicella to be:
- Documentation of 2 doses of vaccine given no earlier than age 12 months, with at least 3 months between doses for children younger than age 13 years, or at least 4 weeks between doses for people age 13 years and older
- U.S.-born before 1980*
- A healthcare provider’s diagnosis of varicella or verification of history of varicella disease
- History of herpes zoster, based on healthcare provider diagnosis
- Laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease
*Note: year of birth is not considered as evidence of immunity for healthcare personnel, immunosuppressed people, and pregnant women.
For more information, visit http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_var.asp.
Information provided by Cynthia McNaughton, RN-C, OHNP
While pregnancy is not necessarily a disability, the EEC enforces the (Federal) Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) From https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm .
Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Pregnancy Discrimination & Work Situations
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.
Pregnancy Discrimination & Temporary Disability
If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer or other covered entity must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, the employer may have to provide light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees if it does so for other temporarily disabled employees.
Information provided by Andrew Vaughn, MD MPH
Employees may be exposed to patients with pertussis, neisiria meningitis, scabies/lice, or other potentially infectious organisms, and it is important to provide medication to prevent these employees from acquiring any disease/organism from the infected patient. In the past, I have always considered prescription medication, even if given once, OSHA recordable. In talking to other employee health nurses, they have also verbalized the same consideration.
I have been discussing this with some of my OSHA counterparts and wrote a letter to OSHA for a letter of interpretation. Valerie Struve, a representative from the National OSHA office, called me to clarify when treatment is OSHA recordable. I incorrectly had made over 50 individual exposure cases OSHA recordable because we provided prophylaxis for them as a result of an exposure to a severe case of Norwegian scabies. Valerie was very helpful and clearly explained when prophylactic treatment is considered OSHA recordable and when it is not.
She directed me to the chart below to determine if an exposure could be recordable, and she explained for it to be recordable, there needs to be an injury. It could be a tick bite, human bite, or other type of injury to an individual. If there is an injury and prophylaxis was given, then it would be OSHA recordable. That is because, if not for the injury, treatment would not need to be given. If there never was an injury, but to prevent an injury/illness prophylaxis was given, then it would not be OSHA recordable.
(Please note there are additional criteria for needlestick and sharps injury cases, tuberculosis cases, hearing loss cases, medical removal cases, and musculoskeletal disorder cases.)
I hope you find this helpful. If you have any additional questions, Valerie welcomes your call. Her number is 202-693-1882.
Bobbi Jo Hurst, MBA, BSN, RN, COHN-S, SGE
AOHP Association Community Liaison
NIOSH is pleased to release three NEW fact sheets that answer some of your most frequently asked questions about respiratory protection.
The fact sheets are available to download on the CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL website, and the topics include: