In the United States, most workers are covered by the Occupational
Safety and Health Act, which provides the legal framework for the
work of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Link
Covered employers and employees are subject to regulations
established by OSHA.
The general duty clause of the OSHA Act makes it illegal
for an employer to expose workers to "recognized
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Over 70% of OSHA inspections are unannounced. Resulting in an
average fine of $2300.00, penalties of up to $70,000.00 may be
imposed for each willful violation.
A record of the violation is also listed in the OSHA
database, increasing the likelihood of a re-inspection of that
An inspection begins when the Compliance Officer arrives at the
worksite, usually unannounced (unless the visit is scheduled due
to a catastrophe or fatality investigation). It is a violation of
law to announce a programmed inspection. OSHA does not collect fines and penalties at the time of
inspection. Anyone who tries to collect money at an inspection is
not an OSHA representative.
The Compliance Officer may inspect the workplace for all OSHA
standards, not just the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. For instance, an inspection related to complaints about air
quality in a sushi restaurant or private school may also include
checking for compliance with the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
The Compliance Officer indicates any and all unsafe working
conditions to the employer as they are observed during an
After the inspection tour, there is a closing conference.
or unhealthful conditions are discussed, as well as all violations
for which a citation may be issued or recommended. The Compliance
Officer does not indicate any proposed penalties at the closing
conference. Instead, the OSHA area director will issue penalties
after reviewing a full report. The closing conference can also
include employees or their representatives.
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Citations, Violations, and
The OSHA Area Director issues Citations and decides what, if any,
penalties will be proposed. Citations inform the employer and
employees of the regulations and standards alleged to have been
violated and of the proposed length of time they have to correct
the problem(s). Citations are sent by certified mail. The employer
must post a copy of each Citation at or near the place the
violation occurred. The Citation must be posted for 3 days or
until the violation is fixed, whichever is longer.
Than Serious Violations -- A violation directly related to job
safety and health, but one that would probably not caause death or
serious physical harm. A penalty of up to $7,000 may be
issued for each violation.
Violation -- A violation with substantial probability that death
or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew,
or should have known, about. A mandatory penalty of
$7,000 for each violation.
· Willful Violation -- A violation that the employer
committed intentionally and knowingly. Penalties of up to $70,000
may be imposed for each willful violation, with a minimum penalty
of $5,000 for each violation. If a willful violation results in
the death of an employee, employers can also be punished by a
court-imposed fine or by imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.
Violation -- A violation of a standard where, upon re- inspection,
a similar violation is found. Repeat violations can bring a
fine of up to $70,000 for each violation.
to Correct Prior Violation -- A civil penalty of up to $70,000 may
be imposed for e4ach day the violation continues beyond the
prescribed date for its correction. At $70,000 per
violation, it doesn't take long for recalcitrant organizations to
reach several hundred thousand dollars worth of penalties and
fines. Moreover, OSHA violations, fines and penalties are
not confidential. They are often reported in the
media. A news report that a major organization had a
$250,000 OSHA violation for failing to follow safety regulations
could, for instance, be a public relations disaster.
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Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorgan- isms that are
present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These
pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV)
and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Occupational Exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous
membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially
infectious materials that may result from the performance of an
Methods of Compliance:
Universal precautions shall be observed to prevent contact with
blood or other potentially infectious materials. Under
circumstances in which differentiation between body fluid types is
difficult or impossible, all body fluids shall be considered
potentially infectious materials.
Equipment which may become contaminated with blood or other
potentially infectious materials shall be examined prior to
servicing or shipping and shall be decontaminated as necessary,
unless the employer can demon- strate that decontamination of such
equipment or portions of such equip- ment is not feasible.
Information and Training:
Employers shall ensure that all employees with occupational exposure
participate in a training program which must be provided at no
cost to the employee and during working hours.
Training shall be provided as follows:
the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational
exposure may take place;
90 days after the effective date of the standard;
least annually thereafter.
For employees who have received training on bloodborne pathogens in
the year preceding the effective date of the standard, only
training with respect to the provisions of the standard which were
not included need be provided.
Annual training for all employees shall be provided within one year
of their previous training.
Employers shall provide additional training when changes such as
modifi- cation of tasks or procedures or institution of new tasks or
procedures affect the employee's occupational exposure. The
additional training may be limited to addressing the new exposures
Material appropriate in content and vocabulary to educational level,
literacy, and language of employees shall be used.
The training program shall contain at a minimum the following
accessible copy of the regulatory text of this standard and an
explanation of its contents;
general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne
explanation of the modes of transmission of bloodborne pathogens;
explanation of the employer's exposure control plan and the means
by which the employee can obtain a copy of the written plan;
explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and
other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other
poten- tially infectious materials;
explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will
prevent or reduce exposure including appropriate engineering
controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment;
on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling,
decontamination and disposal of personal protective equipment;
explanation of the basis for selection of personal protective
on the hepatitis B vaccine, including information on its efficacy,
safety, method of administration, the benefits of being
vaccinated, and that the vaccine and vaccination will be offered
free of charge;
on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an
emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious
explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident
occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the
medical follow-up that will be made available;
on the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up that the employer is
required to provide for the employee following an exposure
explanation of the signs and labels and/or color coding required
by paragraph (g)(1); and
opportunity for interactive questions and answers with the person
conducting the training session.
person conducting the training shall be knowledgeable in the
subject matter covered by the elements contained in the training
program as it relates to the workplace that the training will
The employer shall establish and maintain an accurate record for
each employee with occupational exposure, in accordance with 29
This record shall include:
name and social security number of the employee;
copy of the employee's hepatitis B vaccination status including
the dates of all the hepatitis B vaccinations and any medical
records relative to the employee's ability to receive vaccination
as required by paragraph (f)(2);
copy of all results of examinations, medical testing, and
follow-up procedures as required by paragraph (f)(3);
employer's copy of the healthcare professional's written opinion
as required by paragraph (f)(5);
copy of the information provided to the healthcare professional as
required by paragraphs (f)(4)(ii)(B)(C) and (D).
Training records shall include the following information:
dates of the training sessions;
contents or a summary of the training sessions;
names and qualifications of persons conducting the training;
names and job titles of all persons attending the training
Training records shall be maintained for 3 years from the date on
which the training occurred.
Workers in many different occupations are at risk of exposure to
bloodborne pathogens. First
aid team members, janitors, food service workers, and medical
staff are but a few examples of workers who may be at risk of ex-
OSHA Fines and Penalties Related to BBP:
$52,000 FOR ALLEGEDLY NOT PROVIDING PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO
WORKERS WHO HANDLE "CONTAMINATED LAUNDRY" AND OTHER
$42,000 FINE FOR BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS AND OTHER VIOLATIONS
AMBULANCE COMPANY $304,700 FOR BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS VIOLATIONS
$60,100 FINE ON BOSTON AMBULANCE FIRM: AGENCY GETS SERIOUS ABOUT
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS (OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
LABORATORIES AGREES TO PAY $137,100 FOR BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN
“IT IS CLEAR
THAT OSHA IS VIGOROUSLY APPLYING THE STANDARD AND IS PREPARED TO
ISSUE FINES. VIOLATIONS OF THE BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS STANDARD CAN
CARRY UP TO A $7000 FINE PER INSTANCE.”
OF THE BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN STANDARD MAY RESULT IN PENALTIES OF UP
TO $70,000, DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF THE INFRACTION. CRIMINAL
PENALTIES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE FOR WILLFUL VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN
PATHOGENS TOP CATEGORY CITED BY OSHA DURING INSPECTION OF NURSING
General Industry top 10: Bloodborne
Pathogens (1910.1030) - 2,508 violations and $1,272,355 in
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CARDIO-PULMONARY RESUSCITATION &
universal AED training standards have not yet been adopted by
OSHA, the practice of implementing AEDs has been applauded.
endorsement of AED's in the workplace (PDF)
October 26, 2000, Congress passed into law the Public Health
Improvement Act which contains the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act
(CASA). CASA provides for placement of AEDs in all federal public
buildings. Good Samaritan immunity to applies to trained rescuers who
may use the devices. It
also allocates $25 Million dollars for placement of AEDs in rural
Cardiac Arrest Survival Act (PDF)
Summary of AED Actions in the 107th
Congress (PDF) Link
AED, U.S. Depart. of Energy Link
Florida was the first state to enact a broad
public access AED law (Chapter 34 of 1997). As of mid-2001, all fifty states have adopted defibrillator
laws or regulations.
Maine became the 50th state in June 2001.
Also in 2001,
Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia and Oregon passed additional laws clarifying or expanding on earlier
California, New Hampshire and New York enacted legislation,
all amending existing provisions concerning the regu- lation of
automated external defibrillators.
Nevada Requires AEDs in High Schools and
Arizona enacted a measure that will require any
state building con- structed or renovated at a cost of at least
$250,000 to be equipped with automated external defibrillators.
SB1070 requires that the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and
the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting should
include funding for the placement of automated external
defibrillators in capital budgets for new
state buildings each fiscal year. The provisions in the act become
effective after June 30, 2003.
Utah updated its AED law in 2003 by
establishing a statewide reg- istry.
Virginia updated AED laws in 2003 by deleting
the requirement for registration. Link
York, legislators enacted new requirements for public school
facilities to provide and maintain on-site AED equipment. Assembly
Bill 8779, requires that all school sponsored activities have at
least one staff person who has been trained in the use of the
Even if not covered, there may be a
litigation risk where the company knew of the potential hazard and
knew of a solution but failed to implement it.
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OSHA First Aid Standard:
First Aid should is a vital part of all safety and health programs.
Prompt, properly administered First Aid care can mean the
difference between life and death. The OSHA First Aid standard 29
CFR 1910.151 reads:
"The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical
personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.
In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near
proximity to the workplace that is used for the treatment of all
injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained
to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily
available. Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to
injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick
drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided
within the work area for immediate emergency use."
Penalties & Liabilities:
RESULTS IN $80,150 FINE FOR EUFAULA PULPWOOD COMPANY
EMPLOYEES NOW HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE EMPLOYERS TO COURT OVER LABOR
CODE VIOLATIONS SUCH AS SAFETY AND WORKING CONDITIONS.”
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Jersey Occupational Safety Law
The New Jersey PEOSH program covers the workplace safety and health
of public sector employees only. Private sector employees in New Jersey are covered by
Federal OSHA. Link
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New York Occupational Safety Law
In New York State, state and local government workers are under the
juris- diction of the Public Employee Safety and Health bureau of
the New York State Department of Labor (PESH). PESH operates under the authority of Sections 27 to 32 of
the New York State Labor Law. It enforces standards that are
almost identical to OSHA standards. Workers who are not covered by PESH are covered by Federal
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seek the advice of an attorney to determine whether any state,
local, or municipal regulations pertaining to CPR and AED training
would include your organization. This site is maintained for informational purposes only,
and is not to be construed as a substitute for the advice of
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