Policy & Procedure for Disease Prevention caused by Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards

This policy exists to prevent exposure of students, faculty, and staff at CHSU to infectious diseases and injuries during clinical and laboratory activities. The policy covers training and education regarding prevention of exposure to infectious and environmental hazards for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the policy states protocols that must be followed to ensure appropriate care and medical treatment in the event of an exposure incident.

All CHSU students, faculty, and staff are trained in standard precautions to prevent exposure to potentially infectious pathogens and follow up procedures in the event of accidental contact. This mandatory training occurs annually during the Fall semester.

All new CHSU students, faculty, and staff who may be exposed to potentially hazardous materials are trained in standard precautions and exposure risks during their orientations. Employees are assigned electronic courses during onboarding. Osteopathic Medical students are trained during orientation week by the Clinical Education department. In addition, COM students undergo training again by the Clinical Education department during Clerkship Orientation, which takes place during the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) course at the end of OMS-II year. Students also will be oriented at the beginning of their clinical clerkships to their hospital’s or clinic’s written Exposure Control Plan (ECP) required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and must follow the respective institution’s ECP. Pharmacy students are trained by the COP Experiential Education department prior to commencing experiential learning.

CHSU students’ records of exposure incidents and subsequent follow up information will be kept on file in their college’s Office of Student Affairs. Any faculty or staff exposure incidents will be followed up and filed by the Human Resources Office.

Each college and the Human Resources Office will maintain an internal procedure governing the tracking of training and exposures.

The following guidelines and precautions must be followed:

  1. Standard Precautions: The term “standard precautions” is an approach to infection control. According to the concept of Standard Precautions, all human blood and certain human body fluids are always treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other blood-borne pathogens. CHSU students are considered healthcare workers, bound by the standards of their clinical education site, when participating in clinical and community experiences. As such, students, faculty and staff are required to abide by the OSHA regulations for health care professionals who are considered to be at risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne diseases.
  2. Faculty are prohibited from engaging in academic activities which might expose students to potentially infectious material without a plan in place for implementation of standard precautions.
  3. Additional steps to prevent exposure that faculty, staff and students must take:
    • Use blunt instruments in laboratory settings as appropriate.
    • Under circumstances in which differentiation between body fluid types is difficult or impossible, all body fluids shall be considered potentially infectious materials.
    • Take appropriate precautions when handling blood or other potentially infectious materials: use gloves, masks, and gowns if blood or other possibly infectious material exposure is anticipated.
    • Set up all equipment in a safe manner to limit exposure.
  4. Exposure Incident: An exposure incident is a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non- intact skin, or parenteral contact with potentially infectious or hazardous material. Contact can occur via a splash, needle stick, puncture/cut wound from sharp instrument, or human bite. Potentially infectious body fluids include blood, semen, vaginal secretions; pleural, pericardial, synovial, peritoneal, cerebral spinal, amniotic fluid; saliva during dental procedures; any other body fluid visibly contaminated with blood; any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead).
  5. Associated Expenses: Exposure incidents for students are not to be submitted as Workers’ Compensation claims unless the student is employed by CHSU. CHSU students are required to have health insurance. In accordance with this policy, health care expenses associated with an exposure incident are to be billed to the student’s respective insurance carrier for payment. Exposure incidents for CHSU faculty or staff should be reported directly to their supervisor and to Human Resources, at which point any compensation claims will be discussed and determined.

If a faculty or staff member of CHSU experiences an exposure incident, the employee is required to follow protocol set forth in the Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) as follows:

Employees are to report all injuries to the Office of Human Resources and The Safety Director, as identified in the University IIPP, immediately. Failure to report accidents and injury will be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

For non-emergencies, first responders will provide first aid, as necessary, and the injured employee(s) will be directed to the appropriate medical facility. Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Management will contact the workers’ compensation insurance carrier within twenty-four (24) hours of a work- related injury or illness notification and provide the operator with information about the injury. In the event of an employee’s death or in-patient hospitalization, the company will notify its workers’ compensation carrier within eight (8) hours.

All injuries, regardless of how minor, must be reported.