3.045 - Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control

Effective Date: 06/19/2013

3.045 - POL

This policy outlines safe work practices against communicable diseases, in accordance with the requirements of WAC 296-823 Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens and OSHA Directive CPL 2-2.69

Officers may contact the Harborview Medical Center triage desk at (206) 731-3074, ext. 3, or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at (800) 232-4636, ext. 134, to discuss potential exposure incidents and to assist in making the decision to initiate post-exposure follow-up procedures. 

Officers may consult the CDC for up-to-date information on bloodborne pathogens, including infectious diseases and West Nile virus.

1. Officers May Contact the Employment Services Lieutenant for Information About the Hepatitis B Vaccination Series and Testing 

The Employment Services Lieutenant may be reached at (206) 684-5466.

2. Officers Will Advise Their Sergeant of Reportable Exposures and Utilize the Bodily Fluid Exposure Packet

The packet contains detailed instructions for exposed officers and their sergeants.  All applicable forms must be completed and the packet must be sealed and submitted to the Employee Services Lieutenant by the end of the shift, if feasible.

A Department reportable exposure incident is the direct exchange of blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM) from a source subject to an officer.  The following exposures are considered non-reportable:    

  • Exposure to blood or OPIM on intact skin
  • Blood or OPIM on clothing or equipment
  • Being present in the same room as an infected subject
  • Touching or talking to an infected subject

3. Officers Will Use Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE will be considered appropriate when it is designed to deter blood or OPIM from passing through or reaching the officer's clothing, footwear, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the PPE is used. 

PPE includes:

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Surgical face masks
  • Fluid-shield masks
  • Disposable foot coverings
  • Rubber boots

a. Officers Will Check Their Patrol Vehicles at the Beginning of Each Shift to Make Sure That They Have Biohazard Kits That Contain PPE

Officers will report incomplete kits to the stationmaster for restocking. 

4.  Officers Must Arrange for Department Vehicles and Facilities that Become Contaminated to be Cleaned as Soon as Possible With an EPA-Approved Decontaminant

Officers shall contact Red Carpet Building Maintenance at (206) 362-3650 to arrange for decontamination. 

5.  The Department Will Pay to Clean or Replace, if Necessary, Uniform Items That Become Contaminated With Blood or OPIM as a Result of a Duty-Related Incident

See Manual Section 9.050.

6.  Officers Must Only Discard Waste That is Contaminated With Blood or OPIM in Containers Provided to the Department by the Commercial Biohazard Waste Contractor

7.  Officers Must Discard Contaminated Sharps in Appropriate Containers as Soon as Feasible

Exception: The Evidence Unit may accept syringes only in cases of homicide or assault where the syringe has been used as a weapon.  See SPD Evidence Packaging/Submission Guide.

8.  Sergeants Shall Notify the Watch Commander of a Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure by the End of the Shift