Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention
What is the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard?
OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) as amended pursuant to the 2000 Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, is a regulation that prescribes safeguards to protect workers against health hazards related to bloodborne pathogens. It has provisions for exposure control plans, engineering and work practice controls, hepatitis B vaccinations, hazard communication and training, and recordkeeping. The standard imposes requirements on employers of workers who may be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials such as certain tissues and body fluids.
Bloodborne pathogens and needlesticks are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to bloodborne pathogens and needlestick prevention.
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
1910 Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances
1910.1030, Bloodborne pathogens. Revisions to 1910.1030 as a result of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act: Paragraph 1910.1030(d)(2)(i) requires the use of engineering and work practice controls to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Employers must keep a Sharps Injury Log for the recording of percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps [1910.1030(h)(5)(i)]. The Exposure Control Plan (1910.1030(c)(1)(i)) shall: Reflect changes in technology that eliminate or reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens [1910.1030(c)(1)(iv)(A)]. Document annually consideration and implementation of appropriate commercially available and effective safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure [1910.1030(c)(1)(iv)(B)]. Solicit input from non-managerial employees responsible for direct patient care, who are potentially exposed to injuries from contaminated sharps, in the identification, evaluation, and selection of effective engineering and work practice controls and shall document the solicitation in the Exposure Control Plan [1910.1030(c)(1)(v)].
There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.
- Overview of State Needle Safety Legislation. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). As of June 2002, twenty-two states have enacted legislation related to needle safety.
- Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. 106th Congress - Public Law 106-430, (2000). The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act became Public Law 106-430 on November 6, 2000.