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L&I Adopts Hazardous Drugs Rule

hazardous substanceOn January 3, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) adopted the Hazardous Drugs rule, which aims to protect health care workers from harmful exposure to chemotherapy or other hazardous drugs. The rule will go into effect in stages, beginning January 1, 2013.

The rule was enacted in response to a bill passed by the Washington State Legislature, which requires L&I to implement protections that abide by recommendations in the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reports of 2004 and 2010.

L&I will host a public meeting to discuss the creation of a Hazardous Drugs Advisory Committee, as well as model programs that support employers as they implement the rule.  This event will take place at the L&I Tumwater building from 2 – 4 pm on Wednesday, January 25th. The Auditorium is located at:

Department of Labor & Industries Auditorium
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414

When the Hazardous Drugs rule goes into effect it will cover all health care settings where workers come into contact with these hazardous drugs. Some of those substances have been identified as cancer-causing agents, while others are known to cause irreversible harm to health care workers – even at low-level exposure rates.

Under this new rule, “health care facilities” will be defined as sites where a health care provider administers medical care to patients.

The rule includes minimum requirements for advancing a hazardous drug control program.  Using existing hazard assessments, employers will establish programs to reduce or eliminate employee exposure to hazardous substances.

If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related illness due to exposure to hazardous substances, contact an Employment Attorney at Emery Reddy for help recovering damages.

Emery Reddy