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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)Compliance with personal protective equipmentrecommendations can protect workers, protectlive swine from people with flu, and reduce thechances of carrying the flu virus outside theworksite. Workers should be provided withappropriate protective equipment and instruc-tions and training in protective equipment careand use. The following personal protectiveequipment is recommended for swine produc-tion workers when working with known or sus-pected flu-infected pigs:• Uniforms or coveralls• Rubber, polyurethane boots or disposableshoe covers
• Disposable gloves• Safety goggles• Disposable, lightweight head or hair covers• Respirators• Personal protective equipment should belaundered, disinfected or discarded at workand should never be taken home or worn out-side of work areas.
Respirator RecommendationsDisposable N95 or higher NIOSH-certified filter-ing facepiece respirators are the minimum levelof respiratory protection that should be worn byworkers in contact with known or suspected flu-infected pigs. Workers must be medicallycleared, must be fit tested with the respiratormodel that they will wear, and must be instruct-ed in proper use and cleaning of the respirator,in accord with OSHA’s Respiratory Protectionstandard (29 CFR 1910.134).
Cleaning and DecontaminationCommonly used disinfectants, such as quater-nary ammonium compounds or 10% bleachsolutions, will kill flu viruses. Cleaning chemicalscan cause skin, eye, nose, throat and lung irrita-tion. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for use.
This Fact Sheet provides worker health and safe-ty guidance to employers who operate swinefarms and pork production facilities where work-ers are in close contact with pigs. The goal ofthis Fact Sheet is to protect workers exposed topigs with known or suspected flu infection.
Influenza viruses typically spread throughcoughing or sneezing, and through contact withsurfaces contaminated by flu viruses. It isimportant to recognize the signs of flu both inlive swine and in swine farm workers so thatappropriate precautions can be taken.
Signs of Flu in Pigs• High fever • Nasal discharge• Lethargy • Sneezing• Going off feed • Breathing difficulties• Coughing (barking)
If pigs show these signs, even mildly, appropri-ate veterinary care should be provided.
Hygiene PracticesWorkers should be instructed in the followinggood hygiene practices:• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissuewhen coughing or sneezing. Throw used tis-sues in the trash. If you do not have tissue,cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.• Wash your hands often, using soap and waterfor 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based sanitizer ifsoap and water are not available.
• Shower and change your clothes when enter-ing and leaving work.
Workers should be instructed to wash their hands:• Before and after contact with pigs• After contact with contaminated equipment orsurfaces
• Before and after use of personal protectiveequipment
FactSheetInfluenza inWorkers and Pigs:Guidance for Commercial Swine Farmers and Pork ProducersFlu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause arange of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal. Although flu viruses that circulatein pigs are different from flu viruses that circulate in people, sometimes flu viruses havebeen transmitted between people and pigs.
U.S. Department of Labor
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Workers should be provided with proper protec-tive equipment when using cleaning chemicals.
Swine Farm Biosecurity RecommendationsWorkers with a flu-like illness should stay homefor at least 24 hours after the fever ends withoutthe use of fever-reducing medicine. Biosecuritypractices (e.g., shower-in/shower-out procedures,proper use, removal, cleaning or discarding ofpersonal protective equipment, disinfectant foot-baths) should be enforced.
Symptoms of Flu in People• Fever • Headache• Cough • Chills• Sore throat • Fatigue• Runny, stuffy nose • Diarrhea• Body aches • Vomiting
Employers should refer swine production work-ers with flu symptoms for medical evaluation.Employers may consider establishing a referralrelationship with healthcare professionals withexperience in occupational health of agriculturalworkers.
Vaccination of Swine ProductionWorkersVaccinations are the most powerful public healthtool for preventing flu transmission. Vaccinationof swine production workers with the seasonalflu vaccine will help prevent the spread of sea-sonal flu among people and from people to liveswine. Employers should consider providing theseasonal flu vaccine to their workers who comein contact with pigs.
Education and TrainingWorkers should know the:• Importance of good hygiene, protectiveequipment, biosecurity, and other practices toprevent the spread of flu from pigs to peopleand workers to pigs.
• Importance of the flu vaccination for workers.• Symptoms associated with flu in humans andclinical signs of flu in pigs.
• Proper fitting, use, cleaning and disposal ofpersonal protective equipment.
Additional InformationFor more information on:• Influenza risk, flu vaccines and infectioncontrol measures: www.cdc.gov/flu
• Influenza Surveillance in Swine- ProceduresManual, USDA Animal and Plant HealthInspection Service, July 2010: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health_dis_spec/siv_surv_manual.shtml
• Influenza: Pigs, People and Public Health.Fact Sheet from the National Pork Board,January 2004: http://pork.org/filelibrary/Factsheets/Swine%20Health/PUBLICHEALTH%influenza04726.pdf20
• Disinfectant information from theEnvironmental Protection Agency:www.epa.gov/oppad001/influenza-disinfectants.html
This fact sheet is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recom-mendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations areadvisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe andhealthful workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safetyand health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved stateplan. In addition, the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide theiremployees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. The voice phoneis (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.