Safety

SBA tags bloodborne pathogens standard for rule change

OSHA Healthcare Connection, March 11, 2008

Small healthcare offices and laboratories with only limited worker exposure to blood should have modified and simplified compliance standards, advocates the government's Small Business Administration (SBA).

Each year the SBA Office of Advocacy's Regulatory Review and Reform Initiative, or r3 identifies a top-10 list of regulations that that should be revised because they are ineffective, duplicative, or out of date.

This year's r3 list, compiled from 80 nominations by stakeholders, includes the recommendation: Update OSHA's Medical/Laboratory Worker Rule. The update recommends that exposure control plan requirements be "tiered to be more flexible depending on the amount of blood and bodily fluids present at the facility." Cost savings to small healthcare facilities and lower healthcare costs overall would be the benefits of the change.

But don't trash your comprehensive exposure control just yet. The SBA list is advisory-asking a regulatory agency such as OSHA only to consider the recommendation.

You can track the progress of the rule by going to www.sba.gov/advo/r3. The SBA says it will update its status twice a year.

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