General Inspection Procedures | Bloodborne Pathogens

The procedures given in the FIRM, Chapter II, should be followed except as modified in the following sections:

Where appropriate, the facility administrator, as well as the directors of infection control, employee (occupational) health, training and education, and environmental services (housekeeping) will be included in the opening conference or interviewed early in the inspection.

The facility’s sharps injury log and any other file of “incident reports” that document the circumstances of exposure incidents in accordance with the provisions in the exposure control plan, and any first aid log of injuries, should be reviewed. The compliance officer should ask for any other additional records that track bloodborne incidents. The compliance officer should review the most recent Part 1904 — Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulations prior to citing recordkeeping violations.

Compliance officers should take necessary precautions to avoid direct contact with blood or OPIM and should not participate in activities that will require them to come into contact with blood or OPIM. The CSHO should avoid direct contact with needles or other sharp instruments potentially contaminated with blood or OPIM. To evaluate such activities, compliance officers normally should establish the existence of hazards and adequacy of work practices through employee interviews and should observe them at a safe distance.

On occasions when entry into potentially hazardous areas is judged necessary, the compliance officer should be properly equipped as required by the facility as well as by his/her own professional judgment, after consultation with the supervisor, who should refer to OSHA’s exposure control plan for further guidance.

Compliance officers should use appropriate caution when entering patient care areas of the facility. When such visits are judged necessary for determining actual conditions in the facility, the privacy of patients must be respected. Photos or videos are normally not necessary and in no event should identifiable photos be taken without the patient’s consent.

Recording of Exposure Incidents

The new recordkeeping rule effective January 1, 2002 requires at 29 CFR 1904.8 that all employers, whether or not they are covered by the bloodborne pathogens standard, record all work-related needlesticks and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with another person’s blood or OPIM on the 300 Log as an injury. The employee’s name must not be entered on the 300 Log. [See the requirements for privacy cases in paragraphs 1904.29(b)(6) through (b)(9).]

If the employee is later diagnosed with an infectious bloodborne disease, the identity of the disease must be entered and the classification must be changed to an illness. If an employee is splashed or exposed to blood or OPIM without being cut or punctured, the incident must be recorded on the OSHA 300, if it results in the diagnosis of a bloodborne illness or it meets one or more of the recording criteria of 1904.7.

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