Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.7 Staff Health

1.7.0 On-Site Occupational Hazards

Content in the standard was modified on 02/04/2022.

Early care and education programs should have written policies and procedures that inform staff about the major occupational health hazards, how to limit exposures, and how to minimize adverse effects if exposed. Staff may be exposed to the following categories of hazards, listed in Appendix B: Major Occupational Health Hazards:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Environmental factors (e.g., noise, odors, toxins)
  • Risk for injury
  • Risk for stress (e.g., children’s challenging behaviors, inadequate benefits)

Pregnant staff may be considered at higher risk for some exposures.1 Up-to-date information about occupational hazards in early care and education programs should be available to all staff.


Early care and education staff members need to learn about and practice ways to minimize risk of illness and injury and promote wellness for themselves.2 Staff members who are of childbearing age or pregnant should be encouraged to discuss with their primary health care provider the potential exposure to occupational risks that could harm their unborn child.1

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Pre-Employment and Ongoing Adult Health Appraisals, Including Immunization Stress Management for Staff Routine Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Infectious Disease Outbreak Control Ventilation to Control Odors Noise Levels Chemicals Used to Control Odors Structure Maintenance Inspection of Play Area Surfacing Immunization of Staff Staff Education on Prevention of Bloodborne Diseases Records of Injury
Appendix B: Major Occupational Health Hazards
Appendix D: Gloving
Appendix L: Cleaning Up Body Fluids
  1. Radaucuanu R, Bouslama M. Risks for adverse pregnancy outcomes and infections in daycare workers: an overview of current epidemiological evidence and implications for primary prevention. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(6):733-756. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01549
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide. Aronson SS, Shope TR, eds. 5th ed. Itasca, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2020

Content in the standard was modified on 02/04/2022.