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WASHINGTONThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week issued a new safety and health guidance for employers and employees regarding avian influenza.
The guidance, available at www.osha.gov, updates a guidance issued in 2004. It provides separate recommendations for poultry workers and workers who handle other animals. It also provides recommendations for laboratory employees, health care personnel, food handlers, travelers and U.S. employees stationed overseas.
The guidance's primary focus is on good hygiene, including use of gloves and hand washing, as well as respiratory protection for those who work with infected animals or individuals.
The guidance also provides links to Web sites with relevant information about the disease.
"We encourage employers and employees who are most likely to be exposed to avian flu to take the appropriate precautions," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke in a statement announcing the new guidance. "This guidance offers them practical tips, such as hand washing and the use of proper protective equipment, for preventing illness."