Bloodborne Pathogen Control in Texas Schools FAQs

pic1BBP Frequently Asked Questions:

Before calling the Department of State Health Services School Health Program or Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Surveillance, please do the following:

Who can conduct the employee training?

A: As a general rule, Registered Nurses are viewed to be qualified to conduct training. However, if the RN is not knowledgeable and not comfortable in this role, he or she should request assistance.

Other persons who may provide training include, LVNs and safety/health instructors who have received special training or who have job experience conducting OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training.

The person presenting the training must allow employees the opportunity to have their questions answered.

Who has to be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine?

A: Any employee who is determined to be "at risk" of on the job exposure to "blood or other material potentially containing bloodborne pathogens in connection with exposure to sharps."

This is best determined by reviewing job descriptions and categorizing employees.

Many districts are providing the vaccine to those employees most at risk first and then making plans to phase in other categories in the future.

Some districts are offering the vaccines to all employees but are only assuming the financial cost for those employees with the highest risk.

What happens if the district has a written plan but has not conducted training prior to January 1, 2001?

The rules do not specify enforcement methods or allow for the assessment of penalties. Department of State Health Services staff will be making random site visits to various governmental units, but the focus of these visits will be to provide education and support.

The DSHS minimum standard exposure control plan indicates that records must be kept according to OSHA standards, which in turn states that records are retained for 30 years.

Are schools required to comply?

A: The state has no recommendation regarding record retention and leaves that up to the individual governmental unit to store according to their specific policy and procedures.

What steps should school districts take if they want to apply for a "waiver"?

A: The School Health Program does not grant waivers. After reading the information presented on this site, please contact the School Health Program with any questions or concerns at (512) 458-7279.

Last updated March 15, 2011