OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard. Implications for the occupational health nurse.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has promulgated a standard, expected to become mandatory in mid 1991, designed to protect employees from all exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. Employers should begin now to institute an infection control plan. Methods of compliance of the standard include: universal precautions, engineering and work practice controls, personal protective equipment, and housekeeping. The occupational health nurse should coordinate development, maintenance, and revision of a program to comply with the OSHA regulations. The occupational health nurse should also educate management about the hazards of bloodborne pathogens and assist them in complying with the final standard so that a safe and healthy work environment can be achieved.
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