Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/14/2000 03:33 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 440-PROTECTION FROM NEEDLE & SHARPS INJURIES CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG announced the first order of business is HOUSE BILL NO. 440, "An Act relating to needle stick and sharps injury protections and the use of safe needles by health care facilities and health care professionals; relating to the vaccination of health care workers against diseases transmitted by blood borne pathogens; and providing for an effective date." Number 0128 REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 440 (LS1580\H, Cramer, 4/13/00). There being no objection, HB 440, Version H, was adopted. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG indicated there are several amendments to the bill. He asked Representative Harris if he is aware of these amendments. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS replied yes. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG wondered if the amendments "conform this bill with the Senate version, which is moving along?" REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS stated that is correct. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked, "Would that be your intention when we offer those to conform to (indisc.)?" REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS said, "Absolutely." CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG commented that the committee would take brief testimony on the bill. He asked Tim Bundy if he is available to simply answer questions on the bill. TIM BUNDY, Assistant Chief, Consultation and Training, Division of Labor Standards and Safety, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He noted that he is available to answer any questions on HB 440, Version H. Number 0205 MANO FREY, President, Alaska American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He stated that the Laborers' Union represents nearly 300 registered nurses and an additional 200 or more health care workers at Alaska Regional Hospital. The Laborers' Union supports the bill and thinks it would go a long way in helping protect those involved in the medical industry. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked Mr. Frey if he has seen the Senate version of this bill. MR. FREY commented that he has the committee substitute for HB 440. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 1 which reads: Page 1, line 14: Delete: "(h)" Insert: "(g)" Page 3, lines 19-22: Delete subsection (f). Reletter remaining subsections. There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 2 which reads: Delete: Page 2, line 19, from "engineering control" through line 22 "procedure;". Insert: "needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury protections are not required if:" (A) the devices are not available in the marketplace; (B) the evaluation committee described in (g) of this section determines by means of objective product evaluation criteria that use of the devices may jeopardize patient safety if use for (i) a class or type of procedure; or (ii) a class or type of procedure when performed on a certain type of patient; (C) a certified or licensed health care worker directly involved in the patient's care determines, in the reasonable exercise of clinical judgement, that use of the devices will jeopardize the patient's safety or the success of the particular medical procedure involving the patient; a health care worker who makes this determination shall file a report with the employer, in writing, including the date, time, patient, and procedure involved, and a statement of the reasons why the employee failed to use an approved needless system or sharp with engineered sharps injury protections; (D) the employer can demonstrate by means of objective product evaluation criteria that use of the devices is not more effective in preventing exposure incidents than the alternative used by the employer; or (E) the employer can demonstrate, with respect to an engineering control that has not been available in the marketplace for at least 12 months, that reasonable specific and reliable information is not available regarding the safety performance of the engineering control for the employer's procedures, and that the employer is actively determining by means of objective product evaluation criteria whether the use of the engineering control will reduce the risk of exposure incidents occurring in the employer's workplace; There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 3 which reads: Page 3, line 5, after "exposure incident" Insert: "that must include" (A) the job classification of the exposed employee; (B) the department or work area where the exposure incident occurred; (C) the procedure that the exposed employee 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 protections, 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; (G) if the sharp had no engineered sharps injury protections, 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) whether an engineering, administrative, or work practice control could have prevented the injury, as well as the recorder's basis for the opinion. There being no objection, Amendment 3 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 4 which reads: Page 3, lines 27 - 31: Delete current language. Insert: (g) An employer who employs 10 or more front-line health care workers shall establish an evaluation committee, at least half the members of which are front-line health care workers. An employer who employs fewer than 10 front-line health care workers shall establish an evaluation committee with at least one member who is a front-line health care worker. An employer who has established a committee before the effective date of this section that satisfies the requirements of this subsection is not required to establish an additional committee under this subsection. There being no objection, Amendment 4 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 5 which reads: Page 4, line 24, after "workplace;": Insert: (6) "front-line health care worker" means a nonmanagerial employee responsible for direct patient care with potential occupational exposure to sharps-related injuries; Renumber sections accordingly. There being no objection, Amendment 5 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 6 which reads: Page 5, line 7, after "18.60.880(c)" Insert: ";" (11) "work practice controls" are controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by altering the manner in which a task is performed. There being no objection, Amendment 6 was adopted. Number 0365 REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion for the adoption of Amendment 7 which reads: Page 5, line 8 after "2003": Insert: Section 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read: EMPLOYERS WITH LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT EMPLOYEES: Notwithstanding AS 18.60.880 and 18.60.890, enacted by section 1 of this Act, an employer who has fewer than 25 full-time-equivalent employees is not required to comply with AS 18.60.880 and 18.60.890. Renumber sections accordingly. CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG objected for the purpose of discussion. He stated that the amendment is an uncodified exemption for businesses of less than 25 people. He agrees with the amendment and removed his objection. There being no further objection, Amendment 7 was adopted. Number 0421 REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS made a motion to move HB 440, Version H, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 440(L&C) moved from the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.