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Safety Programs > Occupational Exposure Control Plan

Occupational Exposure Control Plan - Blood-Borne Pathogens

* This is an abbreviated version of the official SUNY New Paltz Bloodborne Pathogen Policy

Occupational Exposures

Occupational exposure may occur in many ways, including needle stick and cut injuries. Health care workers employed in certain occupations are assumed to be at high risk for blood-borne infections due to their routinely increased exposure to body fluids from potentially infected patients. These high-risk occupations include, but are not limited to physicians, pathologists, dentists and dental technicians, x-ray technicians, phlebotomists, emergency room, intensive care and operating room nurses and technicians, laboratory and blood bank technologists and technicians. Other health care workers who may be directly exposed to such body fluids depending on their exact work assignments include such occupations as housekeeping personnel, laundry workers, orderlies, morticians, research laboratory workers, paramedics, and medical examiners. Employees in any occupation where they are directly exposed to body fluids are considered to be at substantial risk of occupational exposure to HIV and/or HBV.

Exposure Categories

Category I: Tasks that Involve Exposure to Blood, Body Fluids, or Tissues.

All procedures or other job related tasks that involve an inherent potential for mucous membrane or skin contact with blood, body fluids, or tissues, or a potential for spills or splashes of them, are Category I tasks. Use of appropriate protective measures should be required for every employee engaged in category I tasks.

Category II: Tasks that Involve No Exposure to Blood, Body Fluids, or Tissues, but Employment May Require Performing Unplanned Category I Tasks.

The normal work routine involves no exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues, but exposure or potential exposure may be required as a condition of employment. Appropriate protective measures should be readily available to every employee engaged in Category II tasks.

Category III: Tasks that Involve No Exposure to Blood, Body Fluids or Tissues, and Category I Tasks that are not a Condition of Employment.

The normal work routine involves no exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues (although situations can be imagined or hypothesized under which anyone, anywhere, might encounter potential exposure to body fluids). Persons who perform these duties are not called upon as part of their employment to perform or assist in emergency medical care or first aid or to be potentially exposed in some other way. Tasks that involve handling of implements or utensils, use of public or shared bathroom facilities or telephones, and personal contacts such as handshaking are Category III tasks.

Category I Employees SUNY New Paltz:

Student Health Service medical and health work staff.

Category II Employees SUNY New Paltz:

University Police, Athletic Trainers, Speech Pathology and Audiology, and some custodial staff (those that work in health center, and residence halls)

Category III Employees SUNY New Paltz:

Plumbing Maintenance, Custodial (all other), Residence Directors, most other administrative job positions

 

OSHA Definitions:

  1. Health Care Facility: Those establishments listed under the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 80 and 7261; and clinics, health units, and nurses' stations at industrial work sites.
  2. Health Care Worker: An employee of a health care facility including, but not limited to, nurses, physicians, dentists and other dental workers, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, laboratory and blood bank technologists and technicians, research laboratory scientists, phlebotomists, dialysis personnel, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, medical examiners, morticians, housekeepers, laundry workers and others whose work may involve direct contact with body fluids from living individuals or corpses.
  3. Body Fluids: Fluids that have been recognized by the Center for Disease Control as directly linked to the transmission of HIV and/or HBV and/or to which universal precautions apply: blood, semen, blood products, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid and concentrated HIV or HBV viruses.
  4. Universal Precautions: The term "universal precautions" refers to a system of infectious disease controls that assume that every direct contact with body fluids is infectious and requires every employee exposed to direct contact with body fluids to be protected as though such body fluids were HIV or HBV infected. Therefore, universal precautions are intended to prevent health care workers from parenteral, mucous membrane and non-intact skin exposures to blood-borne pathogens.
  5. Bloodborne Pathogens: Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  6. Contaminated: The presence or the reasonably anticipated presence of blood or other potentially infectious materials on an item or surface.
  7. Decontamination: The use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy bloodborne pathogens on a surface or item to the point where they are no longer capable of transmitting infectious particles and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.
  8. Exposure Incident: A specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that results from the performance of an employee's duties.
  9. HBV: Hepatitis B virus.
  10. HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
  11. Occupational Exposure: Reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties.
  12. Other Potentially Infectious Materials:
    • The following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids;
    • Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and
    • HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.
  13. Parenteral means piercing mucous membranes or the skin barrier through such events as needlesticks, human bites, cuts, and abrasions.

Engineering Controls/Personal Protection

Gloves:

The use of gloves will vary according to the procedure involved. The use of disposable gloves is indicated for procedures where body fluids are handled. The use of gloves is particularly important in the following circumstances:

  1. If the worker has cuts, abraded skin, chapped hands, dermatitis or the like.
  2. When examining abraded or non-intact skin or patients with active bleeding.
  3. During all cleaning of body fluids and decontaminating procedures.

Gowns: (Category I Employees)

The use of gowns, aprons, or lab coats is required when splashes to skin or clothing with body fluids are likely to occur. Gowns, including surgical gowns, shall be made of, or lined with fluid- proof or fluid resistant material and shall protect all areas of exposed skin.

Masks and Eye protection:

The use of masks and protective eyewear or face shields is required when contamination of mucosal membranes, eyes, nose or mouth with body fluids such as splashes or aerosolization of such material, is likely to occur. They are not required for routine care or cleanup.

Disinfectants:

Following the initial cleanup of blood and/or body fluids, a chemical germicide that is approved for use as a hospital disinfectant and is tuberculocidal should be used, following manufacturer's instructions

Sharps containers: (Category I Employees)

  1. After they are used, disposable syringes and needles, scalpel blades and other sharp items shall be placed in puncture-resistant containers for disposal.
  2. Such containers shall be easily accessible to personnel needing them and located in all areas where needles are commonly used.

Needles shall not be recapped, purposely bent or broken by hand, removed from disposable syringes or otherwise manipulated by hand.

Procedure for Routine Cleanup

  1. Obtain emergency spill clean-up kit.
  2. Read directions on packet before opening if unfamiliar with that brand of kit.
  3. Open kit, following directions. Donning the gloves included will always be the next step.
  4. Sprinkle spill clean-up powder (either from the kit or from separate bottle) over spilled area until completely covered. Any liquid from the spill should start to congeal immediately.
  5. Remove congealed material with scraper and spoon into the included Biohazard Bag. Use absorbent towels if necessary. All waste should be put into the Biohazard Bag.
  6. Clean the affected area with a germicidal (if available) or regular detergent and water.
  7. Disinfect the area.
  8. Remove gloves and put these and any other materials into the Biohazard Bag and seal.
  9. Place Biohazard Bag in Satellite Accumulation Area.
  10. Wash hands thoroughly.
  11. Call Environmental Health & Safety (3310) for a Regulated Medical Waste Pickup.

Procedure for Potentially Contaminated Material Disposal

If a potentially contaminated material is found, universal precautions should be used when disposing of it. These items may include soiled bandages or clothing often found near an athletic venue. Groups using campus facilities are required to bring their own Biohazard Bags and dispose of their own materials, but some may be missed. Risk of contamination from these types of material is low as they are usually found after enough time has elapsed for any infectious material to dry and lose viability. Your judgment can be used as to whether the material needs a Biohazard Bag or can be safely disposed of in the trash.

If an Exposure Incident Occurs

An exposure should meet the OSHA definition as listed above. If an exposure incident has occurred, immediate blood collection and testing will be given to an employee requesting it. If the blood or body fluid contact exposure was from another individual (source), every attempt will be made to test that individual. Information about the "source individual" can be made available only with that individual's consent.

Complete, printer-friendly policy available here

Contact Information

Michael Malloy, Director
Office: Service Building room 110A
Phone: (845) 257-3310