Blood-borne Pathogen Law and EMS Providers
On March 18, 2005, Governor Huntsman signed into law Senate Bill 0019, which significantly changes the reporting process for EMS personnel who are exposed to blood borne pathogens. Changes from the old law include:
- Moving workers compensation benefit information from the Health Code to the Labor Code
- Adding Hepatitis C to the presumptive eligibility for workers compensation benefits
- Simplifying the process and shortening the time required to initiate a court-order testing in the event that the source patient refuses to be tested
- Using the OSHA recommended reporting procedure added to the Blood-borne Pathogen standard in January 2001
- Enabling agencies to send samples to laboratories of their choice instead of requiring that all samples be sent through the State Health Laboratory
- Making use of current technology, including rapid HIV testing, resulting in less EMS personnel starting on unnecessary prophylaxis therapy
- Eliminating the extra step in the reporting process of having results go through the Utah Department of Health to be reported to each agency
The full text of the new law is available on the Legislature Web site.
Administrative Rule R612-10. HIV, Hepatitis B and C Testing and Reporting for Emergency Medical Services Providers was established on December 2, 2005, to outline the procedures for blood-borne pathogen testing and reporting. The Emergency Medical Service Provider Exposure Report Form (ERF) is available from the Utah Labor Commission.
For the complete OSHA Blood-borne Pathogen standard, please visit the OSHA Web site. Most of the revised information is in section 1910.1030(f)(3). This section gives the process for testing of the source individual. A PowerPoint presentation of how the new law affects the current reporting procedure has been prepared by Rebecca Fronberg at the Department of Health.
For additional information, please contact Rebecca Fronberg, HIV Counseling & Testing Coordinator, Utah Department of Health, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-538-6299.
Updated February 28, 2006