Is your employer complying with needlestick injury prevention laws?
Every year, thousands of Chicago and Illinois healthcare workers suffer from needlestick injuries. Because of this nationally widespread problem, Congress has enacted a law which requires certain employers to implement workplace safety regulations. This law is called the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA). Unfortunately, employers don’t always comply with those regulations.
What should my employer be doing to keep me safe from needlestick injuries in the workplace?
Under the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, your Illinois employer must:
- Establish (or update) a bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan. This is a plan that identifies jobs which give employees exposure to bloodborne pathogens and determines how to select safety controls for workers who have potential exposure to needlestick injuries. Your employer’s exposure control plan should be re-evaluated and updated as technology changes and better devices become available for protecting you.
- Evaluate and implement safer medical devices if effective. Safer medical devices might include needles with built-in sharps injury protection or needleless systems.
- Involve you, as a frontline healthcare worker, in the process for evaluating and selecting safer medical devices
- Continue to monitor the effectiveness of engineering controls
- Engage in certain types of employee training on preventing sharps injuries
Further, if you experience a needlestick injury, your employer may be required to report the injury. Your employer should be keeping a log of needlestick injuries that occur at work, which documents the brand and type of device involved in the injury and an explanation of how the injury occurred.
Employee training is an important part of needlestick injury prevention. Your employer is required to provide you training on avoiding bloodborne pathogen exposure, at no cost to you, on an annual basis.
If a Chicago, Illinois employer hasn’t complied with one or more of these requirements, they may be subject to a fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
At the Ankin Law Office, we realize that needlestick injuries are a serious problem for Illinois healthcare workers and we can help you understand your rights following a needlestick or sharps injury. If you or a loved one in the Chicago, Illinois area has experienced a needlestick or sharps injury, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Chicago needlestick lawyers of Ankin Law at (312) 346-8780 for a free consultation. We offer expert advice to clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Our clients come from counties including Cook, Lake, Will and DuPage.
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