Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 5179 (ih) To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to limit the number of overtime hours of licensed health care employees. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 5179 (ih) To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to limit the number of overtime hours of licensed health care employees. [Introduced in House] ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 5178



            October 4 (legislative day, September 22), 2000



                                 AN ACT

To require changes in the bloodborne pathogens standard in effect under 
            the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Needlestick Safety and Prevention 


    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Numerous workers who are occupationally exposed to 
        bloodborne pathogens have contracted fatal and other serious 
        viruses and diseases, including the human immunodeficiency 
        virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C from exposure to 
        blood and other potentially infectious materials in their 
            (2) In 1991 the Occupational Safety and Health 
        Administration issued a standard regulating occupational 
        exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including the human 
        immunodeficiency virus, (HIV), the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and 
        the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
            (3) Compliance with the bloodborne pathogens standard has 
        significantly reduced the risk that workers will contract a 
        bloodborne disease in the course of their work.
            (4) Nevertheless, occupational exposure to bloodborne 
        pathogens from accidental sharps injuries in health care 
        settings continues to be a serious problem. In March 2000, the 
        Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more 
        than 380,000 percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps 
        occur annually among health care workers in United States 
        hospital settings. Estimates for all health care settings are 
        that 600,000 to 800,000 needlestick and other percutaneous 
        injuries occur among health care workers annually. Such 
        injuries can involve needles or other sharps contaminated with 
        bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV, HBV, or HCV.
            (5) Since publication of the bloodborne pathogens standard 
        in 1991 there has been a substantial increase in the number and 
        assortment of effective engineering controls available to 
        employers. There is now a large body of research and data 
        concerning the effectiveness of newer engineering controls, 
        including safer medical devices.
            (6) 396 interested parties responded to a Request for 
        Information (in this section referred to as the ``RFI'') 
        conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
        in 1998 on engineering and work practice controls used to 
        eliminate or minimize the risk of occupational exposure to 
        bloodborne pathogens due to percutaneous injuries from 
        contaminated sharps. Comments were provided by health care 
        facilities, groups representing healthcare workers, 
        researchers, educational institutions, professional and 
        industry associations, and manufacturers of medical devices.
            (7) Numerous studies have demonstrated that the use of 
        safer medical devices, such as needleless systems and sharps 
        with engineered sharps injury protections, when they are part 
        of an overall bloodborne pathogens risk-reduction program, can 
        be extremely effective in reducing accidental sharps injuries.
            (8) In March 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention estimated that, depending on the type of device used 
        and the procedure involved, 62 to 88 percent of sharps injuries 
        can potentially be prevented by the use of safer medical 
            (9) The OSHA 200 Log, as it is currently maintained, does 
        not sufficiently reflect injuries that may involve exposure to 
        bloodborne pathogens in healthcare facilities. More than 98 
        percent of healthcare facilities responding to the RFI have 
        adopted surveillance systems in addition to the OSHA 200 Log. 
        Information gathered through these surveillance systems is 
        commonly used for hazard identification and evaluation of 
        program and device effectiveness.
            (10) Training and education in the use of safer medical 
        devices and safer work practices are significant elements in 
        the prevention of percutaneous exposure incidents. Staff 
        involvement in the device selection and evaluation process is 
        also an important element to achieving a reduction in sharps 
        injuries, particularly as new safer devices are introduced into 
        the work setting.
            (11) Modification of the bloodborne pathogens standard is 
        appropriate to set forth in greater detail its requirement that 
        employers identify, evaluate, and make use of effective safer 
        medical devices.


    The bloodborne pathogens standard published at 29 CFR 1910.1030 
shall be revised as follows:
            (1) The definition of ``Engineering Controls'' (at 29 CFR 
        1910.1030(b)) shall include as additional examples of controls 
        the following: ``safer medical devices, such as sharps with 
        engineered sharps injury protections and needleless systems''.
            (2) The term ``Sharps with Engineered Sharps Injury 
        Protections'' shall be added to the definitions (at 29 CFR 
        1910.1030(b)) and defined as ``a nonneedle sharp or a needle 
        device used for withdrawing body fluids, accessing a vein or 
        artery, or administering medications or other fluids, with a 
        built-in safety feature or mechanism that effectively reduces 
        the risk of an exposure incident''.
            (3) The term ``Needleless Systems'' shall be added to the 
        definitions (at 29 CFR 1910.1030(b)) and defined as ``a device 
        that does not use needles for (A) the collection of bodily 
        fluids or withdrawal of body fluids after initial venous or 
        arterial access is established, (B) the administration of 
        medication or fluids, or (C) any other procedure involving the 
        potential for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens due 
        to percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps''.
            (4) In addition to the existing requirements concerning 
        exposure control plans (29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(1)(iv)), the review 
        and update of such plans shall be required to also--
                    (A) ``reflect changes in technology that eliminate 
                or reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens''; and
                    (B) ``document annually consideration and 
                implementation of appropriate commercially available 
                and effective safer medical devices designed to 
                eliminate or minimize occupational exposure''.
            (5) The following additional recordkeeping requirement 
        shall be added to the bloodborne pathogens standard at 29 CFR 
        1910.1030(h): ``The employer shall establish and maintain a 
        sharps injury log for the recording of percutaneous injuries 
        from contaminated sharps. The information in the sharps injury 
        log shall be recorded and maintained in such manner as to 
        protect the confidentiality of the injured employee. The sharps 
        injury log shall contain, at a minimum--
                    ``(A) the type and brand of device involved in the 
                    ``(B) the department or work area where the 
                exposure incident occurred, and
                    ``(C) an explanation of how the incident 
        The requirement for such sharps injury log shall not apply to 
        any employer who is not required to maintain a log of 
        occupational injuries and illnesses under 29 CFR 1904 and the 
        sharps injury log shall be maintained for the period required 
        by 29 CFR 1904.6.
            (6) The following new section shall be added to the 
        bloodborne pathogens standard: ``An employer, who is required 
        to establish an Exposure Control Plan shall 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.''.


    The modifications under section 3 shall be in force until 
superseded in whole or in part by regulations promulgated by the 
Secretary of Labor under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)) and shall be enforced in the same 
manner and to the same extent as any rule or regulation promulgated 
under section 6(b).


    (a) Procedure.--The modifications of the bloodborne pathogens 
standard prescribed by section 3 shall take effect without regard to 
the procedural requirements applicable to regulations promulgated under 
section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 
U.S.C. 655(b)) or the procedural requirements of chapter 5 of title 5, 
United States Code.
    (b) Effective Date.--The modifications to the bloodborne pathogens 
standard required by section 3 shall--
            (1) within 6 months of the date of the enactment of this 
        Act, be made and published in the Federal Register by the 
        Secretary of Labor acting through the Occupational Safety and 
        Health Administration; and
            (2) at the end of 90 days after such publication, take 

            Passed the House of Representatives October 3, 2000.


                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,


Pages: 1

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