Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Body fluids

Body fluids

From: Michael Trinkley <chicora1>
Date: Thursday, May 25, 1995
Johanna Wellheiser inquired about "organizational policies" for
libraries where collections were exposed to a range of bodily
fluids. I notice that she posts from Toronto,Canada and I can only
offer information on U.S. requirements. She can, however, contact
the Health and Safety Support Services Branch, Ministry of Labor in
Toronto for more localized requirements.

For US facilities, however, there are very clear requirements, aside
from any institutional policies.

OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030(g)) applies to
all persons occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially
infectious materials (OPIMs). The OPIMs would include semen, vaginal
secretions, cerebrospinal fluids, amniotic fluid, saliva, and other
bodily fluids. While not offering a legal opinion, it seems likely
that any library which requires its staff to clean such fluids from
books (i.e., create a situation of occupational exposure) would be
required to meet the standard (the construction, maritime, and
agriculture industries are exempt).

The standard  requires all employers with occupational standards to:

    1.  establish a written exposure control plan

    2.  implement methods of compliance with the standard

    3.  provide for hepatitis B vaccinations and post-exposure
        evaluation and follow-up

    4.  maintain a method of communication of hazards to employees

Very briefly, the exposure control plan should eliminate or minimize
employee exposure. It should cover such topics as the method of
implementation, record keeping, procedures for evaluating
circumstances surrounding exposure, and an exposure determination
listing job classifications, tasks, and procedures in which
occupational exposures are present. This plan must be made available
to employees. It must be reviewed and updated annually. Methods of
control must be what are called "universal, " meaning that they
should integrate established engineering, work practice, personal
protective equipment, and housekeeping controls. You must make
hepatitis B vaccine and vaccination series available to all
employees (at no cost) who have occupational exposure and provide
post-exposure evaluations and follow-up. As just a (very important)
side note, OSHA does not address the employee who has an adverse
reaction to a recommended vaccination and then seeks workers'
compensation for the resulting injury. And finally, every
occupationally exposed employee must be given information and
training during regular working hours.

There are some very good training materials available, which I'll be
happy to recommend if anyone wishes to contact me directly.

Otherwise, institutions need to decide whether they wish to clean
the exposed items or simply bag and discard them. For cleaning there
are some very good absorbents--some are chlorine/phenol based,
others are chemical disinfectants. You can imagine the effect they
have on collections. Libraries should also be equipped with gloves,
disinfectant/cleaners, and biohazard bags.

Hope this helps.

Mike Trinkley
Chicora Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 8664
Columbia, SC  29202-8664

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:94
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 31, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-94-002
Received on Thursday, 25 May, 1995

[Search all CoOL documents]