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Nurses Union Calls on OSHA to Follow Cal/OSHA Ebola Standards

National Nurses United is urging OSHA and state government to help keep nurses and other health care workers safe from the Ebola virus by adopting safety standards issued by the California Division Occupational Safety and Health.

Cal/OSHA released updated guidance on November 14th that requires all state hospitals to provide workers who are at risk of exposure to the virus with personal protective equipment that covers the entire body. The standards are more expansive than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation, according to Cal/OSHA.

More than 60,000 people have signed a petition asking the government to require hospitals to adopt these same guidelines for the safety of the workers. The Cal/OSHA standards include:

• Hospitals must provide powered air-purifying respirators with a full hood to protect the head, face and neck.

• Workers must be trained and allowed to practice putting on and taking off PPE.

• Workers must be provided medical services that include monitoring, testing and removal from work in case of exposure.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine