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Job stress and infectious disease risks in an adult development center.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2003 Aug; 18(8):561-565
Concerns about job stress, infectious disease risks, and inadequate disposable gloves caused an employee of an adult developmental center in Ohio to request a health hazard evaluation from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). At the center, approximately 200 people (consumers) with moderate to severe mental retardation and other developmental disabilities receive habilitation services (e.g., feeding, personal care and hygiene, and communication and prevocational training). The center is one of three developmental centers operated by a county Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) (hereafter called "county board"). The employee reported that the challenging behaviors of some consumers (e.g., biting, scratching, and verbal aggression) were sources of job stress. The concern about infectious disease transmission related to the county board's policies regarding occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, specifically post-exposure evaluation and follow-up procedures. Associated with both these issues was a concern that the disposable gloves used to protect staff members' hands from contact with blood and other human body materials (e.g., feces, urine, vomit, and saliva) tore too frequently. A medical officer and an industrial hygienist visited the center, and this report presents the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of their evaluation.
Job-stress; Infectious-diseases; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Health-hazards; Occupational-hazards; Mental-health; Mental-illness; Occupational-exposure; Industrial-hygienists; Protective-clothing; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection
Issue of Publication
Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division