Does "Toxic and Hazardous Substances" Apply to You?

Toxic and hazardous substances applies specifically to the construction industry in North Carolina. Do your employees have "occupational exposure" to blood or other potentially infectious materials in the workplace? If yes, then you need to comply with this state specific standard.

This North Carolina state specific standard incorporates the general industry standard for bloodborne pathogens (excluding subparagraphs (e) HIV and HBV Research Laboratories and Production Facilities) into the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction (29 CFR 1926). It also revised the definition of Occupational Exposure under subsection (b) Definitions.

The bloodborne pathogens provides requirements for a written exposure control plan, and requirements pertaining to methods of compliance (i.e., engineering controls, work practice controls), personal protective equipment, housekeeping, regulated waste, labels and signs, laundry, HIV/HBV laboratories, hepatitis B vaccination, post-exposure evaluation and follow-up, information and training, recordkeeping (reference the standard on access to employee exposure and medical records), and sharps injury log. It also provides definitions including:

Occupational exposure means reasonably anticipated contact with skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral (skin piercing) contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties. Occupational exposure includes primary or collateral job duties to provide first aid medical assistance. It does not include Good Samaritan acts of first aid and CPR.

Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 

Universal Precautions is an approach to infection control. According to the concept of Universal Precautions, all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens. 

Other potentially infectious materials means:

  • The following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids;
  • Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and
  • HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.  

Additional information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topics pages for bloodborne pathogens, recording and reportingpersonal protective equipmenteyewash stations and emergency showershierarchy of controls and medical services and first aid.