178770 Personal Care Assistants: Should they be covered by the Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) standard?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:30 AM

Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Shakirudeen Amuwo, MPH , School of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, University Of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Kate McPhaul, PhD, MPH, RN , Work and Health Research Center, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
D. Paxson Barker, RN, BS , Family and Community Health, University of Maryland Schoolof Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Rosemary K. Sokas, MD, MOH, MSc , Office of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC
Little is known about sharps injury rates and mucous membrane blood exposure among personal care assistants (PCAs) delivering care in the home. These providers who assist clients with personal care in the home are generally considered to be without risk and therefore not covered by provisions of the BBP standard. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the risk of blood exposure among PCAs via two cross sectional surveys of PCAs working for a large Midwest home care firm. Approximately 1,000 PCA's were surveyed in person (response rate > 80%) in 2006 and again in 2008. The surveys measured past year needle/sharp and mucous membrane exposure to blood, as well as risk factors for injury. Finding from these analyses will be presented. We anticipate these data will support a discussion of the need for the explicit application of the U.S. 2000 Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (revised OSHA BBP standard) to at least a segment of non-professional care providers working in the home.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the risk of blood exposure to personal care assistants providing care in the home. Discuss the policy implications relative to OSHA's BBP standard coverage that stems from this research.

Keywords: Home Care, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI on this NIOSH funded study and have conducted the work described in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.