Crime Scene Cleanup >> Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation

Law enforcement officers and correctional officers may face a number of situations where there is occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. In its publication "Guidelines for Prevention of  Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis B Virus to Health-Care and Public Safety Workers" (Ex. 15).

The CDC described some of these situations as follows: Law enforcement and correctional facility officers may face the risk of exposure to blood during the conduct of their duties. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation For example, at the crime scene or during processing of suspects.

Law-enforcement officers may encounter blood-contaminated hypodermic needles or weapons, or be called upon to assist with body removal. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation 
Correctional officers may similarly be required to search prisoners or their cells for hypodermic needles or weapons, or subdue violent and combative inmates. 

Law enforcement and correctional facility officers are exposed to a range of assaultive and disruptive behavior... Behaviors of particular concern are biting, attacks resulting in blood exposure, and attacks with sharp objects. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Such behaviors may occur in a range of law-enforcement situations including arrests, routine interrogations, domestic disputes, and lockup operations.

Hand-to-hand combat may result in bleeding and may thus incur a greater chance for blood-to-blood exposure... Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Criminal justice personnel have potential risk of acquiring HBV or HIV infection through exposures which occur during searches and evidence handling. 

Penetrating injuries are known to occur, and puncture wounds or needlesticks in particular pose a hazard during searches of persons, vehicles or cells and during evidence handling. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation (Ex.15 p.15-16) The comment by the International Brotherhood of Police Officers listed a number of ways that occupational exposure may occur to law enforcement officers. 

There are a variety of ways in which police potentially come in contact with blood-borne disease, the most dramatic of which is assaults by criminals wielding weapons. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Frequently these criminals are drug users who are in one of the fastest growing populations of individuals infected by the AIDS and Hepatitis B virus. 

It is not uncommon for police officers to sustain cuts and abrasions in the course of these struggles and to come in contact with the criminal's blood and bodily products. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Police are also at risk from needle sticks, while handling evidence samples and accident victims. 

Correctional Institutions: Many of the situations that place correctional officers at risk happen as the result of the violent behavior of the inmates, Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation a group with a high prevalence of infection because of past and present high risk behavior. 

Studies of four prison populations in the U.S. revealed that approximately half of the prisoners had serological evidence of previous hepatitis B infection with 1.3% to 8.0% of the study population who were carriers (Ex. 6-132). Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Mr. Jim Knapp, a correctional officer, testified to weapons made from silverware, razor blades, sharpened pencils, and pieces of steel and the inmates' use of needles and razors to tattoo other inmates. 

He and his coworkers have also found needles in searches for contraband, and they are often required to break up fights and then clean up the blood in the area (10/17/89 Tr. 71, 92). Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation One witness, addressing himself to those who might be skeptical about whether correctional officers are exposed to blood, described the following incident that occurred two days earlier: 

People look at a correctional officer and say, "Well, you're not like a nurse. You're not like a health service [worker] or whatever. You don't have that much contact." Well, just to emphasize my point, Sunday morning I was working in my unit. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation We had a code call in the unit next door to us. I ran over. Here were two guys fighting over the phone. 

As I ran up to break them up, one of the guys threw a punch into the other guy's face and I had red splattered all over my eyeglasses. This was just Sunday. Luckily, I was wearing eyeglasses. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation (Mr. Glenn Rude 10/17/89 Tr. 81). Not everyone agreed that public safety officers should be covered by the standard. Dr. Richard Vogt, testifying on behalf of the Council of State.

Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), stated: The initial rules should be confined to health care facilities, specifically health care providers... Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation including emergency medical technicians...The risks of occupationally-related transmission of HIV and HBV to policemen, and firemen.

Correctional facility personnel (also known as personal service workers) has never been demonstrated.(Ex. 132, p.3) During questioning by the panel, Dr. Vogt disagreed with basing the scope of the standard on blood exposure but insisted that "actual data" be used. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation OSHA must make the decision on whether or not to include employees on the basis of the best available evidence. 

These data, presented in both Section IV Health Effects and Section V: Quantitative Risk Assessment, demonstrate convincingly that it is blood exposure that is most closely correlated with risk of HBV.  Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Furthermore, the likelihood of percutaneous exposure or exposure to mucous membranes further increases the risk. 

Clearly, these public safety officers not only have exposure to blood, but also have a risk for percutaneous exposures as described above. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Therefore, the Agency concludes that they are at risk as the result of occupational exposure. Ocean Lifeguards: 

Another group of employees, ocean lifeguards, were not included in the discussion of scope in the proposed standard and are added to this discussion of employees who have occupational exposure. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation OSHA was first made aware of the risks faced by ocean lifeguards in testimony by Mr. Ken Gunther representing a number of life saving associations.

The Health Risk Duty Imperative of Ocean Lifeguards (HRDIOL) project. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation His testimony, first delivered at the Washington, D.C. hearings pointed to the occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials encountered by these employees (9/27/89 Tr. 300-313). 

When OSHA held hearings in Miami, Florida on December 20, 1989, Mr. Gunther and 29 other lifeguards testified in detail as to the duties that place lifeguards at risk for blood exposure. Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation Dr. Jim Dobbins, an epidemiologist, and a member of the Gulf Coast Region of the United States Life Saving Association, described the most common risk situations: 

In general, lifeguards are exposed in the course of their duties to blood and bloodborne pathogens in two ways. Contact exposure when both the victim and the lifeguard are cut in the process of a rescue near rocks and pilings in the water, Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation and after the rescue during attempted resuscitation and stabilization of the victim. 

These routine exposures are separate from the sort of incidents ... that involve blood exposure through trauma and boating accidents, automobile crashes in the water or unusual injuries on the beach, Trauma Scene Management Biohazard Remediation or ... plane crashes. (12/20/89 Tr. 1216) 

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