H. B. 4298
(By Delegates Hatfield, Leach, Rowe,
Spencer, Kelley, Perdue and L. Smith)
[Introduced January 31, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirty-six, relating
to creating a needlestick injury prevention program in
hospitals and nursing homes, including those staffed by public
employees; requiring the proposal of rules; creating a
needlestick injury prevention advisory committee; specifying
requirements; providing exception; and outlining
responsibilities of the director of the division of health.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirty-six, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 36. NEEDLESTICK INJURY PREVENTION.
As used in this article:
(1) "Director" means the director of the division of health;
(2) "Engineering controls" includes sharps prevention
technology including, but not limited to, systems not using needles
and needles with engineered sharps injury protection;
(3) "Facility" means every hospital licensed under the
provisions of article five-b of this chapter, every nursing home
licensed under the provisions of article five-c of this chapter,
all hospitals and nursing homes operated by the state or any agency
of the state and all hospitals and nursing homes which are staffed,
in whole or in part, by public employees;
(4) "Health care worker" means a person working in a hospital
or nursing home; and
(5) "Needlestick injury" means the parenteral introduction
into the body of a health care worker of blood or other potentially
infectious material by a hollow-bore needle or sharp instrument,
including, but not limited to, needles, lancets, scalpels and
contaminated broken glass during the performance of duties by the worker.
§16-36-2. Needlestick injury prevention rules.
(a) The director of the division of health shall propose rules
for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of
article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to require the
use of devices that minimize the risk of needlestick and sharps
injuries to health care workers. In developing the rules the
director shall take into consideration the then current guidelines
of the occupational safety and health administration relating to
prevention of needlestick and sharps injuries.
(b) The director with the concurrence of the advisory
committee shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code to which the facility must adhere, to
reduce needlestick and sharps injuries or exposure incidents
including, but not limited to, training, education and other
measures to increase health care worker participation in Hepatitis
B immunizations programs.
(c) The director, with the concurrence of the advisory
committee, shall prepare and maintain a list of existing systems
not using needles and needles and sharps with engineered injury protections. The director shall make the list available to assist
employers in complying with the requirements of the standards
adopted in accordance with this article.
§16-36-3. Needlestick injury prevention advisory committee.
(a) There is established a needlestick injury prevention
advisory committee which shall approve of all rules before the
director of the division of health submits them to the secretary of
state in accordance with section five, article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code and, if changed, before the director
submits them to the legislative rule-making review committee.
(b) The committee shall meet at least four times a year for
the initial two years after the effective date of this article and
on the call of the secretary of the department of health and human
resources after that. The secretary serves as the chair and shall
appoint thirteen members, one representing each of the following
(1) A representative of the health insurance industry;
(2) The commissioner of the bureau of employment programs, or
his or her designee from the division of workers' compensation;
(3) Five nurses who work primarily providing direct patient
care in a hospital or nursing home, at least one of which is employed in a state operated facility;
(4) A phlebotomist employed in a hospital or nursing home;
(5) Two administrators of different hospitals operating within
(6) A director of nursing employed in a nursing home within
(7) A licensed physician practicing in the state; and
(8) An administrator of a nursing home operating within the
(c) Members of the committee serve without compensation. Each
member shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses
incurred in attending meetings of the committee, which may not
exceed the amount paid to members of the Legislature for their
interim duties as recommended by the citizens legislative
compensation commission and authorized by law for each day or
portion of a day engaged in the discharge of their official duties.
(d) A majority of all members constitutes a quorum for the
transaction of all business. Members serve for two-year terms and
may not serve for more than two consecutive terms.
§16-36-4. Needlestick injury prevention requirements.
(a) A facility must, as a part of the facility's procedures for injury prevention, ensure the provision of services to
individuals through the use of hollow-bore needle devices or other
technology known to minimize the risk of needlestick injury to
health care workers. The determination of those policies and
procedures shall be consistent with the rules promulgated under
(b) As required by this article, sharp injury prevention
technology must be included as engineering or work practice
controls, except in cases where the facility or other appropriate
party can demonstrate circumstances in which the technology does
not promote employee or patient safety or interferes with a medical
procedure. Those circumstances shall be specified by the facility
and shall include, but not be limited to, circumstances where the
technology is medically contraindicated or not more effective than
alternative measures used by the facility to prevent exposure
(c) A requirement that written exposure control plans be
developed that include an effective procedure for identifying and
selecting existing sharps prevention technology of the type
specified in rules promulgated under this article.
(d) A requirement that information concerning exposure incidents be recorded in a sharps injury log, to be kept within the
facility and reported annually to the director. Information
recorded in the log shall contain, at a minimum:
(1) The date and time of the exposure incident;
(2) The type and brand of sharp involved in the incident; and
(3) A description of the exposure incident which shall at a
(A) The job classification of the exposed worker;
(B) The department or work area where the exposure incident
(C) The procedure that the exposed worker was performing at
the time of the incident;
(D) How the incident occurred;
(E) The body part involved in the exposure incident;
(F) 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 applicable;
(G) If the sharp had no engineered sharps injury protection,
the injured employee's opinion as to whether and how such a mechanism could have prevented the injury, as well as the basis for
the opinion; and
(H) The employee's opinion about whether any other
engineering, administrative or work practice control could have
prevented the injury, as well as the basis for the opinion.
(e) The log shall be used as the basis for continuing quality
improvement in reducing needlestick and sharps injuries through the
provision of education and procurement of improved products.
(f) The log shall be submitted each year to the director of
the division of health.
(g) Written exposure control plans shall be updated when
necessary to reflect progress in implementing the sharp prevention
technology specified in rules promulgated under this article.
Until the first day of July, two thousand three, drugs and
biologics regulated by the food and drug administration whose
packaging, on the effective date of this article, includes needles
and syringes are considered to meet any standards promulgated under
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to implement a needlestick injury prevention program in hospitals and nursing homes. The
program would provide protection to employees in the facilities,
some of which are public employees.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.