Although great strides have been made through OSHA training and certification, workers are not exposed to current CDC guidelines for preventing exposure to pathogens and infectious diseases. Extra thought and care should be taken when working around individuals with weakened immune systems. One must consider the effects of moving a ceiling tile, cutting into a wall, disconnecting a pipe or even carrying your tools to the job site.
A program needs to be developed that will protect construction/maintenance workers, patients, health care facility workers, and visitors from exposure to infectious diseases. ASSE International has done just that. ASSE International has developed a program that applies not only to health care facilities, but any jobsite in which one may be exposed to pathogens or other infectious diseases.
ASSE International has developed the ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 12000, Professional Qualifications Standard for the Health and Safety of Construction and Maintenance Personnel. This standard series sets minimum criteria for the training and certification of craftspeople and maintenance personnel on how to safely work in an environment with potentially deadly diseases. Series 12000 addresses the need for all construction and maintenance personnel to become proficient in identifying and managing potential situations where there may be exposure to pathogens and infectious diseases.