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International Health Care Worker Safety Center

University of Virginia Health System

April 12, 2001

Re: Effective date for OSHA’s revised Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

OSHA’s revised Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910. 1030) was published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2001. The effective date for the revised standard is April 18, 2001. However, OSHA has announced that, following the effective date, there will be a 90-day period of "education and outreach" before it starts enforcing the new requirements in the revised standard. The new requirements are:

(1) documenting, at least annually, evaluation and implementation of safety-engineered devices in the exposure plan, and updating the plan each year to reflect changes in safety technology;

(2) maintaining a sharps injury log; and

(3) including frontline health care workers who provide direct patient care in the evaluation of safety devices and other engineering controls.

NOTE: Health care facilities should already be actively evaluating and implementing safety-engineered devices. OSHA made clear that this was a requirement in its November 1999 revised compliance directive (CPL 2-2.44D) for the Bloodborne Pathogens standard. Since it issued the compliance directive, OSHA has been citing health care facilities for failure to use safer devices.

States with state OSHA plans must have an equivalent revised bloodborne pathogens standard in place by October 18, 2001. (State OSHA standards have to be "at least as effective" as federal OSHA standards.) If you are in a state with a state OSHA plan and want more information on this issue, call your state OSHA office. A list of these offices with phone numbers is available on federal OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov/oshdir/states.html

For further information about the federal needlestick legislation and revised Bloodborne Pathogens standard, see the article posted on our site ("The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act: What Does It Require?"), or call the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at (804) 924-5159.

 Following are the key dates for the revised federal Bloodborne Pathogens standard:

1/18/01 Revised standard published in the Federal Register

4/18/01 Effective date for revised standard

4/18/01-7/17/01 OSHA conducts education and outreach on the revised standard

7/18/01 Enforcement of new requirements in the revised standard begins (facilities can be fined for noncompliance)

10/18/01 Effective date for revised standard in states with state OSHA plans.

To view OSHA's press release about the effective date, click here.

To read OSHA's FAQ on the revised bloodborne pathogens standard, click here.