Legislative Regulations

OSHA has drafted federal regulations that prescribe safeguards to protect workers and reduce risk of exposure to blood-borne diseases. 34 These standards were first published in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, part 1910.1030, in December 1991. 35 Title 29 (the blood-borne standard) requires employers of one or more individuals "who can reasonably be expected to come into contact with blood or specified body fluids during the performance of their duties" to develop programs involving five major initiatives for the mitigation of blood-borne disease transmission: (1) development of a written exposure control plan, (2) utilization of engineering controls to reduce risk by removing the hazard or isolating the worker from exposure, (3) utilization of work practice controls to standardize and maximize the safety with which work tasks are performed, (4) identification of mechanisms for compliance with Title 29 standards, and (5) communication of workplace hazards to those with potential for blood-borne disease exposures. Workplace education should include information about the agents of infectious disease, epidemiology, methods of disease transmission, disease signs and symptoms, risky work tasks, risk reduction strategies, and postexposure management. Such education must occur at initial employment, with repeated training provided at specified intervals.

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