A N A C T
RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- NEEDLESTICK SAFETY AND INJURY PREVENTION ACT
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "Health and Safety" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
NEEDLESTICK SAFETY AND INJURY PREVENTION ACT
23-1.11-1. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) "Employer" shall mean those individuals or corporations with employees who have the potential to be exposed to blood borne pathogens through a needlestick or other contaminated sharps devices;
(2) "Engineering controls" means controls including sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices such as sharps with engineered sharps injury protections and needleless systems that isolate or remove the blood borne pathogen hazard from the workplace;
(3) "Exposure control plan" is a document, which shall be produced and reviewed and updated at least annually and whenever necessary to reflect new or modified tasks, and procedures, which affect occupational exposure and reflect employee positions concerning occupational exposure;
(4) "Needleless system" means a device that does not use needles for: (i) the collection of bodily fluids or withdrawal of body fluids after initial venous or arterial access is established; (ii) the administration of medication or fluids; or (iii) any other procedure involving the potential for occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens due to percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps;
(5) "Sharps with engineered sharps injury protections" means a non-needle sharps 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.
23-1.11-2. Purpose. - The needlestick safety and injury prevention act includes all aspects related to engineering revision and updating of an exposure control plan and record keeping.
23-1.11-3. Devices. - Sharps with engineered sharps injury protections shall include an array of devices that make injury involving a contaminated sharps less likely, and include, but are not limited to, syringes with a sliding sheath that shields the attached needle after use; needles that retract into a syringe after use; shielded or retracting catheters used to access the bloodstream for intravenous administration of medications or fluids; and intravenous medication delivery systems that administer medications or fluids through a catheter port or connector site using a needle that is housed in a protective covering.
23-1.11-4. Needleless systems. - Needleless systems provide an alternative to needles for the specified procedures, thereby reducing the risk of percutaneous injury involving contaminated sharps and shall include, but are not limited to, intravenous medication delivery systems that administer medications or fluids through a catheter port or connector site using a blunt cannula or other non-needle connection, and jet injection systems that deliver subcutaneous or intramuscular injections of liquid medication through the skin without the use of a needle.
23-1.11-5. Engineering controls. - Engineering controls shall include sharps with engineered sharps injury protections and needleless systems designed to reduce the risk of percutaneous exposure to blood borne pathogens.
23-1.11-6. Exposure control plan. - An exposure control plan will include requirements that employers document consideration and implementation of the safer medical devices that are appropriate, commercially available, and effective. No one (1) medical device is appropriate in all circumstances of use. For purposes of this standard, an appropriate safer medical device includes only devices whose use, based on reasonable judgment in individual cases, will not jeopardize patient or employee safety or be medically contraindicated; commercially available means available in the marketplace; and effective safer medical device is a device that, based on reasonable judgment, will make an exposure incident involving a contaminated sharps less likely to occur in the application in which it is used. Prefilled units are exempt from this section until January 2003.
23-1.11-7. Employer requirement. - Every employer is required to: (1) document annually in the exposure control plan consideration and implementation of appropriate commercially available and safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens; (2) 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 work practice controls and shall document the solicitation in the exposure control plan.
23-1.11-8. Sharps injury log. - To serve as a tool in identifying high risk areas and evaluating devices, a sharps injury log will be established and maintained by the employer. The log will be for 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: (1) the type and brand of device involved in the incident, (2) the department work area where the exposure incident occurred, and (3) an explanation of how the incident occurred. The sharps injury log will be maintained for a period of five (5) years.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2002.