OSHA Publishes H1N1 Fact Sheet for Swine Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published a Fact Sheet offering worker health and safety guidance to employers who operate swine farms and pork production facilities where workers are in close contact with pigs. According to OSHA, the goal of this Fact Sheet is to protect workers exposed to pigs with known or suspected flu infection and to protect live swine from people with flu.

The Fact Sheet includes recommendations regarding topics including:

  • hygiene practices
    • covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
    • don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth
    • frequent hand washing
    • shower when entering or leaving the farm
  • use of personal protective equipment
    • workers should be supplied appropriate PPE and trained in the proper use of the equipment
    • PPE includes:
      • Coveralls
      • Boots
      • Gloves
      • Goggles
      • Head covers
      • Respirators
    • Leave PPE at work, do not remove from the farm
  • Respirator recommendations
    • Disposable N95 or higher NIOSH-certified
    • Workers must be medically cleared, fit tested, and trained to properly use the respirator (OSHA Respiratory Protection standard {29 CFR 1910.134}
  • Cleaning and decontamination
  • Swine farm biosecurity recommendations
    • Sick workers should stay home
    • Enforce biosecurity practices
  • Symptoms of flu in people
  • Vaccination of swine production workers
    • Seasonal flu vaccination of workers
    • Employers should consider providing vaccination for workers
  • Education and training
    • Importance of good hygiene, PPE, biosecurity, and other practices to prevent the spread of flu from pigs to people and workers to pigs.
    • Importance of the flu vaccination for workers.
    • Recognition of flu-like symptoms in humans and in pigs.
    • Proper fitting, use, cleaning and disposal of PPE.

Please consult the OHSA Fact Sheet for additional information.