- What is Senate Bill 183?
Substitute S.B. 183 was signed into law on July 5, 2001. The law requires public employers within Ohio to begin evaluating and using safe-needle devices in their work sites. Through the use of these devices the potential for needlesticks will be greatly reduced, thus reducing the potential for public employees to become infected with hepatitis B and HIV pathogens. Additionally, the law requires that the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program create a form for the collection of needlesticks and sharps injuries.
- How does this act apply to the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard?
PERRP had adopted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) bloodborne pathogen (BBP) standard as an Ohio Public Employment Risk Reduction standard many years ago. The Ohio safe needle act simply requires public employers to further evaluate their work sites during the annual review of the exposure control plan, which is required under the BBP standard. The evaluation would consider possible areas for the use of safe needle devices.
- Why does Ohio have its own safe-needle law?
Ohio was one of several states which had legislation enacted prior to the federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. The federal act required OSHA to amend their bloodborne pathogen standard to address the issue of identifying, evaluating and implementing the use of safer medical devices.
- Is the needlestick form mandatory?
Yes. You must complete the form and submit it to the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program, either online or through the mail on every needlestick or sharps injury that occurs.
- Do we need to submit reports for needlesticks that occurred prior to 2002?
No. You are required to submit your sharps injuries and needlestick incidents from the point you were notifed about the requirement. Public employers were all notified in December 2001. We can not expect public employers to have collected data prior to that.
- Do you want employers to collect information from any accidental sticks from interacting with animals?
Yes. Any needlesticks or sharps injuries received when handling animals, such as drawing blood for rabies testing, should be reported.
- What is the policy number?
The policy number is a BWC-assigned number for each public entity for the purposes of claims management. We are using the number only as a means to initially verify the identity of persons registering on the site. We want to ensure that the person registering on the Web site is representing the public employer.
- How fast should a needlestick incident be reported to PERRP?
Needlesticks should be reported within 10 business days of the incident.
- By what date do we have to implement safer medical devices?
The requirement to implement safer medical devices is not new. However, the revised OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard further clarifies what is meant by engineering controls in the original 1991 bloodborne pathogens standard by adding language to the definition section of the standard that reflects the development and availability of new safer medical devices. Therefore, you should already have begun to assess your work site for implementation of safer medical devices. If you haven’t begun this assessment or review, you should begin now. This requirement means that on an annual basis you should review processes in which needlesticks are occurring or may occur and look into seeing if there is a safer medical device to prevent a needlestick incident.
- Do I need to report needlesticks from non-contaminated needles?
No, you do not have to report these incidents. We only want to collect information related to contaminated needles.