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OSHA Guidance on Workplace Safety and the Flu Highlighted by the OTI Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District

DUBLIN, CA – The OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in Dublin, CA, the only OSHA-authorized OTI Education Center headquartered in Northern California, is highlighting important information and guidance available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on reducing the spread of seasonal flu in workplaces.

OSHA’s Season Flu webpage provides information on the basic precautions to be used in all workplaces as well as additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings to protect workers who are at higher risk for exposure to the flu virus through patient contact.

“OSHA’s seasonal flu overview includes a link to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on protecting individuals from seasonal flu, including updates on the most recent vaccine,” says Cari Elofson, assistant director of the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. “Each year the seasonal flu vaccine is revised to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the current season.”

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the "nasal spray" flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2017-2018 flu season. ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination, with either the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), for everyone 6 months and older. The IIV and RIV are both available in formulations that protect against either three or four flu viruses.

The potential for pandemic (global) flu should be on the radar of all employers. A mild, moderate or severe pandemic can occur at any time. Since it is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, planning for pandemic influenza by business and industry is essential to minimize a pandemic's impact. Although the pandemic H1N1 flu in 2009 was considered by the CDC to be mild, it created significant challenges for employers and workers and showed that many workplaces were not prepared. For information on pandemic flu planning, see OSHA’s Pandemic Influenza webpage.

The OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District urges all employers to take advantage of OSHA’s guidance, information and resources to help reduce the spread of seasonal flu in their workplaces.

About the OSHA Training Institute Education Center
The OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District offers high quality Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards-based training for the construction, maritime, and general industry in Dublin, CA, conveniently located in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as locations throughout California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Programs offered include OSHA safety standards, Outreach Trainer courses, Cal/OSHA standards and customized on-site safety training. For more information, including a complete course schedule, visit the OSHA Training Institute Education Center website.

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