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- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 18. Health, Safety, and Housing
- Chapter 60. Safety
- Section 880. Needle Stick and Sharps Injury Protections For Health Care Workers.
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AS 18.60.880. Needle Stick and Sharps Injury Protections For Health Care Workers.
- (a) An employer shall conduct product evaluations of needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury
protections. The product evaluations shall include the categories of devices that are used in the employer's
facilities. For each category of device, the product evaluations shall be performed by front-line health care workers
representing all wards and medical specialties where the devices are used. The evaluation committee described in (g) of
this section shall determine the amount of time necessary for the front-line health care workers to perform product
evaluations under this subsection. The categories of devices to be evaluated under this subsection include
- (1) IV catheters;
- (2) IV access devices and IV connectors;
- (3) vacuum-tube blood collection devices;
- (4) blood-drawing devices including phlebotomy needle and tube holders, butterfly-type devices, and syringes and other
- (5) syringes used for purposes other than blood drawing;
- (6) suture needles;
- (7) scalpel devices; and
- (8) any other category of device used at the employer's facilities where there is a sharps injury risk.
- (b) The department shall, by regulation, adopt a standard concerning the use of needleless systems and sharps with
engineered sharps injury protections for devices listed in (a) of this section. The regulations must provide that
- (1) needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury protections must be included as engineering and work
practice controls; however, the needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury protections are not
- (A) the devices are not available in the marketplace;
- (B) the evaluation committee described in (g) of this section determines by means of objective product evaluation criteria
that use of the devices may jeopardize patient safety if used for
- (i) a class or type of procedure; or
- (ii) a class or type of procedure when performed on a certain type of patient;
- (C) a certified or licensed health care worker directly involved in the patient's care determines, in the reasonable
exercise of clinical judgment, that use of the devices will jeopardize the patient's safety or the success of the
particular medical procedure involving the patient; a health care worker who makes this determination shall file a
report with the employer, in writing, including the date, time, patient, and procedure involved, and a statement of the
reasons why the employee failed to use an approved needleless system or sharp with engineered sharps injury
- (D) the employer can demonstrate by means of objective product evaluation criteria that use of the devices is not more
effective in preventing exposure incidents than the alternative used by the employer; or
- (E) the employer can demonstrate, with respect to an engineering control that has not been available in the marketplace
for at least 12 months, that reasonably specific and reliable information is not available regarding the safety
performance of the engineering control for the employer's procedures, and that the employer is actively determining by
means of objective product evaluation criteria whether the use of the engineering control will reduce the risk of
exposure incidents occurring in the employer's workplace;
- (2) a written exposure control plan include an effective procedure for identifying and selecting existing needleless
systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury protections; the procedure must provide that an evaluation committee
described in (g) of this section has responsibility for identifying and selecting the devices;
- (3) written exposure control plans shall be updated when necessary to reflect progress in implementing needleless systems
and sharps with engineered sharps injury protections as determined by the evaluation committee described in (g) of this
section; updating must occur at least once every year;
- (4) information concerning exposure incidents shall be recorded in a sharps injury log as required by (c) of this section.
- (c) A sharps injury log must include at least
- (1) the date and time of the exposure incident;
- (2) the type and brand of sharp involved in the exposure incident; and
- (3) the description of the exposure incident that must include
- (A) the job classification of the exposed employee;
- (B) the department or work area where the exposure incident occurred;
- (C) the procedure that the exposed employee was performing at the time of the incident;
- (D) how the incident occurred;
- (E) the body part involved in the exposure incident;
- (F) if the sharp had engineered sharps injury protections, whether the protective mechanism was activated, and whether the
injury occurred before the protective mechanism was activated, during activation of the mechanism, or after activation
of the mechanism;
- (G) if the sharp had no engineered sharps injury protections, the injured employee's opinion as to whether and how such a
mechanism could have prevented the injury, as well as the basis for the opinion; and
- (H) whether an engineering, administrative, or work practice control could have prevented the injury, as well as the
recorder's basis for the opinion.
- (d) The department shall adopt regulations to implement AS 18.60.880
- 18.60.890 and to revise the bloodborne pathogen
standard to prevent sharps injuries or exposure incidents. The regulations may include
- (1) training and education requirements;
- (2) measures to encourage the vaccination of health care workers against diseases transmitted by bloodborne pathogens;
- (3) requirements for the strategic placement of sharps containers as close to the work area as practical; and
- (4) requirements for the increased use of personal protective equipment.
- (e) The department shall compile and maintain a list of sources of information on existing needleless systems and sharps
with engineered sharps injury protections. The department shall make the list available to assist employers in
complying with the requirements of the bloodborne pathogen standard adopted under this section.
- (f) [Repealed, Sec. 2 ch 108, SLA 2000].
- (g) An employer who employs 10 or more front-line health care workers shall establish an evaluation committee, at least
half the members of which are front-line health care workers. An employer who employs fewer than 10 front-line health
care workers shall establish an evaluation committee with at least one member who is a front-line health care worker.
An employer who has established a committee before January 1, 2001, that satisfies the requirements of this subsection
is not required to establish an additional committee under this subsection.
- (h) [Repealed, Sec. 2 Ch 73 SLA 2005].
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