Regulatory / Legislation

State Legislation
In September 1998 California became the first state in the country to enact a law aimed at protecting health care workers from exposure to blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. The bill was introduced after a series of articles appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle asserting that one million health care workers are injured in the United States each year as a result of needlesticks. Since that time 20 additional states have passed Needlestick Safety Legislation. These states include: Tennessee, Maryland, Texas, New Jersey, West Virginia, Minnesota, Maine, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Alaska, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Arkansas, Missouri , Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Additional Needlestick safety bills have been introduced in several other states.
Federal Legislation
Federal Statute - November 2000
In November 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (HR 5178.) The law requires OSHA to amend the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard by expanding the definition of "Engineering Controls" to include safer medical devices, such as sharps with engineered sharps-injury protection and needless systems. It also requires employers to seek input from "non-managerial employees" to evaluate the "engineered sharps-injury protection devices."

Revised Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
On January 18, 2001, the revised Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, which accommodates changes required by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, was published in the Federal Register. This revised standard went into effect on April 18, 2001. OSHA provided a 90-day education period to help educate employers. This "reach-out" period ended on July 17, 2001. The enforcement of the new requirements in the revised standard began on July 17, 2001. Facilities can be fined for noncompliance. New requirements include the use of needleless systems, products with engineering controls (sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices such as sharps with engineered sharps-injury protections) that isolate or remove the bloodborne pathogen hazard from the workplace. Those states that have state OSHA plans have until October 18, 2001 to comply. The following states have approved OSHA State Plans: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. NOTE: The Connecticut, New Jersey and New York plans cover public sector (State & local government) employment only.
States must set job safety and health standards that are "at least as effective as" comparable federal standards. (Most Sates adopt standards identical to federal ones.) States have the option to promulgate standards covering hazards not addressed by federal standards.

State Federal OSHA  Hazard Recognition OSHA Directives - Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens "Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis.