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HB 1448 - Diseases; bloodborne pathogens; sharps injury protection
Orrock, Nan (56th) Unterman, Renee S. (84th) Childers, E. (Buddy) M (13th)
Jones, Vernon A (71st) Parrish, Larry (Butch) J (144th) Mosley, George H (171st)
Status Summary HC: H&E SC: FR: 02/14/00 LA: 02/23/00 H - Favorably Reported (Am)

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Chapter 12 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to control of hazardous conditions and preventable diseases, so as to provide for certain pathogen standards; to limit exposures of public employees to such pathogens when carried by needles and similar devices; and for other purposes.

Page Numbers: 1 2 3 4 5
Code Sections - 31-12-13

House Action Senate
2/14/00 Read 1st Time
2/15/00 Read 2nd Time
2/23/00 Favorably Reported
Am Committee Amend/Sub
Version by LC Number
LC 11 0002 As Introduced

HB 1448                                            LC 11 0002 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
  1- 1  To amend Chapter 12 of Title 31 of the Official Code of 
  1- 2  Georgia Annotated, relating to control of hazardous 
  1- 3  conditions and preventable diseases, so as to provide for 
  1- 4  certain pathogen standards; to limit exposures of public 
  1- 5  employees to such pathogens when carried by needles and 
  1- 6  similar devices; to provide for definitions; to provide for 
  1- 7  recording of information and measures to prevent certain 
  1- 8  injuries and exposures; to provide for lists, evaluation 
  1- 9  committees, and a fund; to repeal conflicting laws; and for 
  1-10  other purposes. 
  1-12                           SECTION 1. 
  1-13  Chapter 12 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-14  Annotated, relating to control of hazardous conditions and 
  1-15  preventable diseases, is amended by adding at the end a new 
  1-16  Code section to read as follows: 
  1-17    "31-12-13. 
  1-18    (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term: 
  1-19      (1) 'Bloodborne pathogens' means pathogenic 
  1-20      microorganisms that are present in human blood and can 
  1-21      cause disease in humans.  These pathogens include, but 
  1-22      are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C 
  1-23      virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 
  1-24      (2) 'Engineered sharps injury protection' means either: 
  1-25        (A) A physical attribute built into or used with a 
  1-26        needle device used for withdrawing body fluids, 
  1-27        accessing a vein or artery, or administering 
  1-28        medications or other fluids, which effectively reduces 
  1-29        the risk of an exposure incident by a mechanism such 
  1-30        as barrier creation, blunting, encapsulation, 
  1-31        withdrawal, retraction, destruction, or other 
  1-32        effective mechanisms; or 
  2- 1        (B) A physical attribute built into or used with any 
  2- 2        other type of needle device or into a nonneedle sharp, 
  2- 3        which effectively reduces the risk of an exposure 
  2- 4        incident. 
  2- 5      (3) 'Exposure incident' means any sharps injury which 
  2- 6      may reasonably have exposed the person so injured to 
  2- 7      another person's blood or other material potentially 
  2- 8      containing bloodborne pathogens. 
  2- 9      (4) 'Front-line health care workers' means workers from 
  2-10      a variety of occupational classifications and 
  2-11      departments, including, but not limited to, registered 
  2-12      professional nurses, nurse aids, medical technicians, 
  2-13      phlebotomists, and physicians. 
  2-14      (5) 'Needleless system' means a device that does not 
  2-15      utilize needles for: 
  2-16        (A) The withdrawal of body fluids after initial venous 
  2-17        or arterial access is established; 
  2-18        (B) The administration of medication or fluids; or 
  2-19        (C) Any other procedure involving the potential for an 
  2-20        exposure incident. 
  2-21      (6) 'Public employee' means an employee of the state, a 
  2-22      political subdivision, or agency or authority of the 
  2-23      state or a political subdivision thereof employed in a 
  2-24      public or private health care facility, home health care 
  2-25      organization, or other facility providing health care 
  2-26      related services. 
  2-27      (7) 'Public employer' means each employer having any 
  2-28      public employee with occupational exposure to blood or 
  2-29      other material potentially containing bloodborne 
  2-30      pathogens. 
  2-31      (8) 'Sharp' means any object used or encountered in a 
  2-32      health care setting that can be reasonably anticipated 
  2-33      to penetrate the skin or any other part of the body and 
  2-34      to result in an exposure incident, including, but not 
  2-35      limited to, needle devices, scalpels, lancets, broken 
  2-36      glass, and broken capillary tubes, but does not include 
  2-37      prefilled syringes requiring federal Food and Drug 
  2-38      Administration approval for changes to packaging, 
  2-39      labeling or product. 
  3- 1      (9) 'Sharps injury' means any injury caused by a sharp, 
  3- 2      including, but not limited to, cuts, abrasions, or 
  3- 3      needlesticks. 
  3- 4      (10) 'Sharps injury log' means a written or electronic 
  3- 5      record satisfying the requirements of paragraph (2) of 
  3- 6      subsection (c) of this Code section. 
  3- 7    (b) The department shall, no later than January 1, 2001, 
  3- 8    adopt a bloodborne pathogen standard governing 
  3- 9    occupational exposure of public employees to blood and 
  3-10    other potentially infectious materials.  The standard 
  3-11    shall be at least as prescriptive as the standard 
  3-12    promulgated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health 
  3-13    Administration and shall include, but not be limited to, 
  3-14    the following: 
  3-15      (1) A requirement that the most effective available 
  3-16      needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps 
  3-17      injury protection be included as engineering and work 
  3-18      practice controls in all facilities employing public 
  3-19      employees except in cases where: 
  3-20        (A) None are available in the marketplace; or 
  3-21        (B) An evaluation committee, established by the 
  3-22        employer, at least half the members of which are 
  3-23        front-line health care workers, determines by means of 
  3-24        objective product evaluation criteria that use of such 
  3-25        devices will jeopardize patient or employee safety 
  3-26        with regard to a specific medical procedure; 
  3-27      (2) A requirement that each public employer develop and 
  3-28      implement an effective written exposure control plan 
  3-29      that includes, but is not limited to, procedures for: 
  3-30        (A) Identifying and selecting needleless systems and 
  3-31        sharps with engineered sharps injury protection 
  3-32        through the evaluation committee described in 
  3-33        subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; 
  3-34        and 
  3-35        (B) Updating the written exposure control plan when 
  3-36        necessary to reflect progress in implementing 
  3-37        needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps 
  3-38        injury protection as determined by the evaluation 
  3-39        committee described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph 
  3-40        (1) of this subsection, but in no event less than once 
  3-41        every year; 
  4- 1      (3) A requirement that information concerning exposure 
  4- 2      incidents be recorded in a sharps injury log, including, 
  4- 3      but not limited to: 
  4- 4        (A) Date and time of the exposure incident; 
  4- 5        (B) Type and brand of sharp involved in the exposure 
  4- 6        incident; and 
  4- 7        (C) Description of the exposure incident which shall 
  4- 8        include: 
  4- 9          (i) Job classification of the exposed employee; 
  4-10          (ii) Department or work area where the exposure 
  4-11          incident occurred; 
  4-12          (iii) The procedure that the exposed employee was 
  4-13          performing at the time of the incident; 
  4-14          (iv) How the incident occurred; 
  4-15          (v) The body part involved in the exposure incident; 
  4-16          (vi) If the sharp had engineered sharps injury 
  4-17          protection, whether the protective mechanism was 
  4-18          activated, and whether the injury occurred before 
  4-19          the protective mechanism was activated, during 
  4-20          activation of the mechanism or after activation of 
  4-21          the mechanism, if applicable; 
  4-22          (vii) If the sharp had no engineered sharps injury 
  4-23          protection, the injured employee's opinion as to 
  4-24          whether and how such a mechanism could have 
  4-25          prevented the injury, as well as the basis for the 
  4-26          opinion; and 
  4-27          (viii) The employee's opinion about whether any 
  4-28          other engineering, administrative, or work practice 
  4-29          control could have prevented the injury, as well as 
  4-30          the basis for the opinion; 
  4-31      (4) Ensuring that all front-line health care workers are 
  4-32      trained on the use of all engineering controls before 
  4-33      they are introduced into the clinical setting; and 
  4-34      (5) Establishing an evaluation committee, at least half 
  4-35      the members of which are front-line health care workers, 
  4-36      to advise the employer on the implementation of the 
  4-37      requirements of this Code section. Members of the 
  4-38      committee shall be trained in the proper method of 
  5- 1      utilizing product evaluation criteria, prior to the 
  5- 2      commencement of any product evaluation. 
  5- 3    (c) The department shall consider additional enactments as 
  5- 4    part of the bloodborne pathogen standard to prevent sharps 
  5- 5    injuries or bloodborne pathogen exposure incidents 
  5- 6    including, but not limited to, training and educational 
  5- 7    requirements, measures to increase vaccinations, strategic 
  5- 8    placement of sharps containers as close to the work area 
  5- 9    as practical, and increased use of personal protective 
  5-10    equipment. 
  5-11    (d) The department shall compile and maintain a list of 
  5-12    existing needleless systems and sharps with engineered 
  5-13    sharps injury protection, which shall be available to 
  5-14    assist public employers in complying with the requirements 
  5-15    of the bloodborne pathogen standard adopted pursuant to 
  5-16    this Code section.  The list may be developed from 
  5-17    existing sources of information, including but not limited 
  5-18    to, the federal Food and Drug Administration, the federal 
  5-19    Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of 
  5-20    Occupational Safety and Health, and the United States 
  5-21    Department of Veterans Affairs. 
  5-22    (e) A fund is established within the department into which 
  5-23    moneys may be appropriated to provide for research and 
  5-24    development, as well as product evaluations, of needleless 
  5-25    systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury 
  5-26    protection." 
  5-27                           SECTION 2. 
  5-28  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  5-29  repealed. 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 02/24/00