TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
COMPLIANCE DIRECTIVE FOR
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS STANDARD UPDATED
Includes revisions mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a new compliance directive for enforcing the bloodborne pathogens standard that was revised in January.The standard became effective on April 18.
The compliance directive guides OSHA's safety and health inspection officers in enforcing the standard that covers occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, and ensures consistent inspection procedures are followed. It updates an earlier directive issued in 1999 and incorporates changes mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act passed in November 2000.
The directive implements changes made to the standard that focus on the requirement that employers select safer needle devices as they become available and involve employees in identifying and choosing those devices. The standard now also requires most employers to maintain a log of injuries from contaminated sharps.
The directive highlights the major new requirements of the standard including: (1) evaluation and implementation of safer needle devices as part of the re-evaluation of appropriate engineering controls during an employer's annual exposure control plan; (2) documentation of the involvement of non-managerial, frontline employees in choosing safer devices; and (3) establishment and maintenance of a sharps injury log for recording injuries from contaminated sharps.
Compliance officers are reminded that no one safer medical device is appropriate for all situations; employers must consider and implement devices that are appropriate, commercially available and effective. The directive also includes detailed instructions on inspections of multi-employer worksites, including employment agencies, personnel services, home health services, physicians and healthcare professionals in independent practices, and independent contractors.
Also included in the directive are engineering control evaluation forms, a web site resource list, a model exposure control plan which incorporates the most current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control regarding management of occupational exposure to the hepatitis B and C viruses, and the HIV virus.
The directive can be accessed from the OSHA website at http://www.osha-slc.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=2570.
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This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.