A group of seven unions has released "Health Care Workers In Peril: Preparing to Protect Worker Health and Safety During Pandemic Influenza," a new report based on a survey of health care workers.
From the executive summary:
There is no existing comprehensive federal OSHA standard with mandatory and enforceable provisions that require planning and preparation designed to protect health care workers from exposures to pandemic influenza. Nevertheless, it is essential that workplaces plan and prepare for safety and health issues before the flu arrives. In an effort to assess the extent of employer efforts in planning adequate safety and health measures for health care workers, a group of unions developed a “pandemic flu preparedness survey” to assess the level of preparedness on a facility basis.
The survey was distributed to union leaders across the country who represent healthcare workers in unionized facilities. One hundred four (104) facility surveys were collected by six unions in fourteen states. The results of the survey indicate that health care facilities have made some progress in preparing for an influenza pandemic but much more needs to be done.