Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers (IOM, 2008)
This report concluded that the health care community is not prepared to use PPE effectively in the event of an influenza pandemic. Its recommendations focused on three main areas for immediate action: (1) research on influenza transmission should be a priority; (2) a culture of worker safety, including correct use of PPE, should be promoted; and (3) PPE should be developed with the needs of the worker in mind. The committee noted that the ability of respirators to reduce the spread of the disease by protecting both the health care worker and the patient makes them an essential component of PPE policy in an influenza pandemic.
The Personal Protective Technology Program at NIOSH (IOM and NRC, 2008)
This report evaluated and affirmed the positive impact and value of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH’s) Personal Protective Technology Program in the improvement of occupational safety and health and the reduction of workplace injuries and illnesses. The committee assessed NIOSH’s respirator certification program and recommended that this program continue to be enhanced. The committee also recommended that further research be done on the barriers (including human factors) to effective use of PPE as well as ways to overcome them.
Safe Work in the 21st Century: Education and Training Needs for the Next Decade’s Occupational Safety and Health Personnel (IOM, 2000)
This report concluded that changes in the demographics of the American workforce and in the workplace can impede the implementation of health and safety programs in the workplace. These complicating factors will require the development and implementation of a more comprehensive curricula, multidisciplinary training opportunities, and new types of training programs. Its recommendations focus on improving overall educational and training opportunities for current and future occupational safety and health professionals, including occupational health nurses.