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Frequently Asked Questions
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Blood borne Pathogens
What is an exposure control plan?

The exposure control plan is the employer's written program that outlines the protective measures an employer will take to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to blood and OPIM.

The exposure control plan must contain, at a minimum:

  • The exposure determination which identifies job classifications with occupational exposure and tasks and procedures where there is occupational exposure and that are performed by employees in job classifications in which some employees have occupational exposure.
  • The procedures for evaluating the circumstances surrounding exposure incidents;
  • A schedule of how other provisions of the standard are implemented, including methods of compliance, HIV and HBV research laboratories and production facilities requirements, hepatitis B vaccination and post-exposure evaluation and follow-up, communication of hazards to employees, and recordkeeping; 
    Methods of compliance include:
    • Universal Precautions;
    • Engineering and work practice controls, e.g., safer medical devices, sharps disposal containers, hand hygiene;
    • Personal protective equipment;
    • Housekeeping, including decontamination procedures and removal of regulated waste.
  • Documentation of:
    • the annual consideration and implementation of appropriate commercially available and effective safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure, and
    • the solicitation of non-managerial healthcare workers (who are responsible for direct patient care and are potentially exposed to injuries from contaminated sharps) in the identification, evaluation, and selection of effective engineering and work practice controls.

 

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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How often must the exposure control plan be reviewed?

The standard requires an annual review of the exposure control plan. In addition, whenever changes in tasks, procedures, or employee positions affect, or create new occupational exposure, the existing plan must be reviewed and updated accordingly.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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What type of personal protective equipment (PPE) must employees in a dental office wear?

The standard requires that PPE be "appropriate." PPE will be considered "appropriate" only if it does not permit blood or OPIM to pass through to, or reach, the skin, employees' underlying garments, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time that the PPE will be used. This allows the employer to select PPE based on the type of exposure and the quantity of blood or OPIM which can be reasonably anticipated to be encountered during performance of a task or procedure.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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Who is responsible for providing PPE?

The responsibility for providing, laundering, cleaning, repairing, replacing, and disposing of PPE at no cost to employees rests with the employer. Employers are not obligated under the standard to provide general work clothes to employees, but they are responsible for providing PPE. If laboratory jackets or uniforms are intended to protect the employee's body or clothing from contamination, they are to be provided at no cost by the employer.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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Does protective clothing need to be removed before leaving the work area?

Yes. OSHA requires that personal protective equipment be removed before leaving the work area. While "work area" must be determined on a case-by-case basis, a work area is generally considered to be an area where work involving occupational exposure occurs or where the contamination of surfaces may occur.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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What type of eye protection do I need to wear when working with blood or OPIM?

The use of eye protection would be based on the reasonable anticipation of facial exposure. Masks in combination with eye protection devices, such as glasses with solid side shields, goggles, or chin-length face shields, shall be worn whenever splashes, spray, spatter, or droplets of blood or OPIM may be generated and eye, nose, or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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When should gloves be changed?

Disposable gloves shall be replaced as soon as practical after they have become contaminated, or as soon as feasible if they are torn, punctured, or their ability to function as a barrier is compromised. Hands must be washed after the removal of gloves used as PPE, whether or not the gloves are visibly contaminated.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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What type of disinfectant can be used to decontaminate equipment or working surfaces which have come in contact with blood or OPIM?

OSHA's position is that EPA-registered tuberculocidal disinfectants, diluted bleach solutions and EPA-registered disinfectants that are labeled as effective against both HIV and HBV as well as Sterilants/High-Level Disinfectants cleared by the FDA, meet the requirement in the standard and are "appropriate" disinfectants to clean contaminated surfaces, provided that such surfaces have not become contaminated with agent(s) or volumes of or concentrations of agent(s) for which higher level disinfection is recommended.

The particular disinfectant used, as well as the frequency with which it is used, will depend upon the circumstances in which a given housekeeping task occurs (i.e., location within the facility, type of surface to be cleaned, type of soil present, and tasks and procedures being performed). The employer's written schedule for cleaning and decontamination should identify such specifics on a task-by-task basis.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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Who must be offered the hepatitis B vaccination?

The hepatitis B vaccination series must be made available to all employees who have occupational exposure, except as provided. The employer does not have to make the hepatitis B vaccination available to employees who have previously received the vaccination series, who are already immune as their antibody tests reveal, or for whom receiving the vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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When must the hepatitis B vaccination be offered to employees?

The hepatitis B vaccination must be made available within 10 working days of initial assignment, after appropriate training has been completed. Thus, arranging for the administration of the first dose of the series must be done at a time which will enable this schedule to be met.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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When are labels required?

A warning label that includes the universal biohazard symbol (see 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(B) followed by the term "biohazard," must be included on bags/containers of contaminated laundry; on bags/containers of regulated waste; on refrigerators and freezers that are used to store blood or OPIM; and on bags/containers used to store, dispose of, transport, or ship blood or OPIM (e.g., specimen containers). In addition, contaminated equipment which is to be serviced or shipped must have a readily observable label attached which contains the biohazard symbol and the word "biohazard" along with a statement relating which portions of the equipment remain contaminated.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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What are the required colors for the labels?

The labels must be fluorescent orange or orange-red or predominantly so, with symbols and lettering in a contrasting color. The label must be either an integral part of the container or affixed as close as feasible to the container by a string, wire, adhesive, or other method to prevent its loss or unintentional removal.

Source: OSHA.gov, for more information visit:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21010

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Client Testimonials

Crosstex has come out with a lot of amazing product that are focused on excellent patient care and accurate infection control. As well Crosstex is always thinking about how to keep the patient safe and comfortable in the dental chair.

April Slater,
Dental Assistant - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Client Testimonials

Crosstex is a company that cares about education. They spend time and resources making sure that customers understand the products they are using and are using them correctly. Any company can make a sale, Crosstex makes lasting relationships.

Leslie Canham,
CDA, RDA Speaker/Consultant on Infection Prevention and Safety- lesliecanham.com
Client Testimonials

We are very pleased with both the service and the communication we receive from CrosstexBMS. The website is easy to use and it's great to have all of our test results available online anytime we need to see them. Thanks.

Maryjane L Bruning,
RDH, BS/UMKC-SOD
Client Testimonials

Innovation, Quality and Design are the 3 best words I can find to describe Crosstex Products.  Products like Sure-Check® Multi-Parameter Sterilization Pouches and the STEAMPlus™ Type 5 Integrators allow you to be on TOP of your game when it comes to optimal sterility. I love offering the entire Crosstex suite of products to my customers as they always have the patient in mind!

Carie Miskell,
CRDA / Dental Sales Director