California Bloodborne Pathogens laws & safety compliance analysis

California Bloodborne Pathogens: What you need to know

California has adopted the federal bloodborne pathogen standard in its entirety in 8 CCR 5193. The state has added several requirements that are stricter than federal standards.

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The state's bloodborne pathogens standard applies to all places of employment in both the public and private sectors where employees face occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The state standard does not apply to the construction industry.

The California standard is stricter than the federal standard with respect to:

  • Sharps injury log
  • Engineering and work practice controls
  • Hepatitis B vaccination and bloodborne pathogen post-exposure evaluation and follow-up

In addition, the state standard specifically includes hepatitis C virus (HCV) in its definition of pathogenic organisms present in blood that can cause disease in humans.

The CA Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules in California.

8 CCR 5193(c)

Employers in California are required to establish and maintain a Sharps Injury Log. In addition to the federal recording requirements, the state requires the following information be recorded on the log:

  • If the sharp had engineered sharps injury protection, 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
  • If the sharp had no engineered sharps injury protection, the injured employee's opinion about whether and how such a mechanism could have prevented the injury
  • The employee's opinion about whether any ...

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