Friday, November 18, 2016

New OSHA Incident Reporting Rule and Post-Incident Drug Testing

Some of you may remember a Blog we posted in June regarding the new Federal OSHA incident reporting rule. Minnesota OSHA has yet to determine if or when it will be adopting the new recordkeeping rule, however we wanted to keep you informed of some changes taking place with the federal rule.

Federal OSHA has delayed enforcement of the new recordkeeping rule until Dec 1st as there has been some confusion regarding  post-incident drug testing of employees that was incorporated into it. The Federal rule offers employees protection against “retaliatory drug testing” from employers as a result of an employee reporting an incident. The wording of the rule however left some confused as to whether post-incident testing was allowed at all now. Federal OSHA’s latest guidance clarifies that it still allows employers to implement post-incident drug testing when there is “an objectively reasonable basis for testing”, or if the testing is unrelated to incident reporting.

Again we want to clarify that these changes will not currently affect Minnesota Cities as MN OSHA has not released its version of the new rule as of yet, but wanted to keep you updated as we had previously informed you of the federal rule change.

For more information, as well as some tips on how to properly implement a post-incident drug testing program you can visit this blog:

By: Cody Tuttle

Friday, November 4, 2016

Exposure and blood borne pathogens in the workplace

Exposures to blood-borne pathogens (BBP) in construction have continued to increase in recent years, and OSHA issued It’s Blood borne Pathogen Standard 29CFR 1910.1030 to protect workers from diseases associated with these infectious microorganisms. These can include but are not limited to:
  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C (HCV)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
One of the most effective ways to protect employees in the event of an incident leading to exposure, is to have a Blood Borne Pathogen Kit. These kits include essentials such as:
  • Personal Protective Apparel
  • Spill Clean-Up Provisions in Compliance with OSHA Standard 1090.1030
  • Weatherproof Outer Shell to Properly Protect Contents

OSHA definition of 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.”
What to do if someone has a significant exposure to infected b (HIV/Hep) and the protocols for administering anti-viral?
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that Post Exposure Prophylaxis or PEP is a way to prevent HIV infection after a possible recent occupational exposure. It involves taking HIV medications as soon as possible within 3 days after a single high risk event to stop HIV from making copies of itself and spreading throughout human body. The sooner, the better; every hour counts.
What to do if workers exposed to the blood?
  • Report all exposures promptly to ensure that you receive appropriate follow up care.
  • Flush splashes to nose, mouth, or skin with water.
  • Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water.
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile wash.
Prevention of Exposure.
  • Employers must establish and educate workers about an exposure control program
  • Determination and use of engineering controls, which includes containers and self-sheathing needles for safely disposing blood-borne pathogen hazards from the workplace.
  • Observation of work practice controls.
  • Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Make sure the company you work for is prepared in the event of an emergency. For more information on blood-borne pathogens, see OSHA's website at: