Hazardous Drugs (L&I)

October 2013

Hazardous drug sample program guides available

The WA Dept. of Labor and Industries has developed a sample program to provide veterinary employers with an easy-to-use format for developing a comprehensive Hazardous Drug Control Program (HDCP). Veterinary practices can customize the guides for their specific use, work tasks, and workplace. These guides are not regulations and do not create any new legal obligations. They contain advisory and informational content intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. Program guides are available at the L& I Website.

Although the rules don’t take effect until 2015, it’s important all veterinary facilities move forward with their hazard assessments and not wait until just prior to the enforcement date.

April 2013

April 25 - Veterinary practices should begin drafting hazard control plans

The WA Dept. of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) hazardous drugs requirements will take effect January 1, 2014. These regulations were adopted to protect workers who handle chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs. Under this rule, if there is a reasonably anticipated occupational exposure to one or more hazardous drugs, then the employer must develop and implement a written hazardous drug control program to protect workers.

The NIOSH hazardous drug list includes chemotherapy drugs, but also drugs such as hormones. Since some drugs cause less risk than others, L&I has approved a tiered approach that effectively matches precautions to the nature of exposure.

The written hazardous drugs control program must be created with input from workers and address the following elements as applicable to the facility:

  • A written inventory of hazardous drugs in the workplace.
  • A current hazard assessment for the hazardous drugs.
  • Hazardous drugs policies and procedures that cover, but are not limited to:
    • Engineering controls (equipment use and maintenance).
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Safe handling practices
    • Cleaning, housekeeping, and waste handling.
    • Spill control.
    • Personnel issues (such as exposure of pregnant workers).
    • Training.

The best place to start in drafting a clinic plan is by making a list of the drugs used in the practice, the risk these drugs pose, and the plan to mitigate that risk. The WSVMA, under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Parshley, has formed a workgroup to develop guidelines for veterinary practices as well as model systems for implementation and enforcement of these regulations. Suggested guidelines will be developed soon and shared with members.

For complete information on the hazardous drug regulations, visit the WA Dept. of Labor & Industries website.
 

April 15 - Delayed enforcement for hazardous drug rules

The WA Department of Labor and Industries has decided to delay the enforcement of the hazardous drug rules by one year. The reason for the delay stems from the need to establish model programs for a variety of healthcare settings, which will take some time to develop.

The new effective dates are as follows:

Jan. 1, 2015 — Employers must have completed and implemented a written hazardous drugs control program.
July 1, 2015 — Employers must have implemented employee training.
Jan. 1, 2016 — Installation of appropriate ventilated cabinets must be completed.

A word of caution: it’s very important that all veterinary facilities move forward with their hazard assessments and not wait until just prior to the enforcement date. The WSVMA will be providing to members resources on hazard assessments and model programs as they are developed. For more information on the hazardous drug rules, visit the WA Department of L&I’s website.

October 2012

Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs – Regulations and Information for Veterinary Practices in Washington

The 2011 Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5594, requiring the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to set requirements to protect workers who handle chemotherapy and other hazardous drugs. The bill required L&I to adopt rules that are consistent with and do not exceed provisions in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) 2004 Alert on preventing occupational exposures to antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs in health care settings, as updated in 2012.

L&I's hazardous drugs rule was adopted on January 3, 2012. Under this rule, if there is a reasonably anticipated occupational exposure to one or more hazardous drugs, then the employer must develop and implement a written hazardous drug control program to protect workers.

The rule takes effect in stages:

Jan. 1, 2014 — Employers must have completed and implemented a written hazardous drugs control program. 
July 1, 2014 — Employers must have implemented employee training.
Jan. 1, 2015 — Installation of appropriate ventilated cabinets must be completed.

A hazardous drug is any drug identified as hazardous by NIOSH in the "NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings 2012" and any other drugs identified by the employer that:

  • Can cause cancer.
  • Can cause birth defects or prevent reproduction.
  • Causes reproductive toxicity in humans.
  • Causes organ toxicity at low doses in humans or animals.
  • Can damage the DNA structure.
  • Mimics existing hazardous drugs in structure and toxicity.

New rule as adopted by the WA State Department of Labor & Industries

NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings 2012 – The complete list of hazardous drugs by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs for Veterinary Healthcare Workers – Information for veterinary practices on the safe handling of hazardous drugs

Washington State Hazardous Drug Regulations: How They May Impact Your Practice and Clinic – presentation at the WSVMA Annual Conference 2012 by Lisa Parshley, DVM, DACVIM

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Hazardous Drug Webpage – contains information on rule passage and links to resources

Questions and Answers about the new Hazardous Drug Rule – WA State Department of Labor & Industries

Subscribe to the LNI-HAZ-DRUGS-RULE-INFO List – Sign up with WA State Department of Labor & Industries to receive further information, sample programs and educational and outreach materials

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NIOSH Publications and Products

January 2012

Rules for the safe handling of hazardous drugs adopted

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industry’s rule on occupational exposure to hazardous drugs was officially adopted on January 3, 2012. It is expected to be published in the Washington State Register in two parts (on January 18 and February 1, 2012). This new rule can be found on the Labor and Industry website, including on this webpage is the explanatory statement and frequently asked questions. 

The dates of implementation are January 1, 2014 for the development of a hazardous drug program and enactment of these regulations except the training of staff and the installation of appropriate ventilated cabinets. These latter two are to be implemented on July 1, 2014 (training of staff) and January 1, 2015 (installation of appropriate ventilated cabinets).

If you are interested in attending a stakeholder’s meeting about the formation of the Hazardous Drugs Advisory Committee and development of the model programs, it will be held January 25, 2012 in Tumwater. This meeting will be to develop model safety programs for the different types of medical and research facilities that are using these drugs. These model programs would also potentially be used by those who would be responsible for those who would be performing inspections and enforcing the regulations.

For more information on these rules and how to implement them in your practice please contact Dr Lisa Parshley (lisa.parshley@ovccpets.com). 

November 2011

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is still accepting comments to the draft proposal for the rules on Safe Handling of Chemotherapy and Other Hazardous Drugs. Public hearings are scheduled in Tumwater on November 28, 2011, and in Spokane on December 1, 2011.

Should you seek to provide feedback to L&I now, send all comments and questions to John Furman, 360.902.5666 or Beverly Clark, 360.902.5516.

The latest revision of the rules can be read here.

September 2011

WA Dept of Labor and Industries establishing Occupational Health Standards - Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs

The 2011 Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5594, which requires the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to adopt rules implementing the 2004 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Alert on safe handling of hazardous drugs, such as chemo and other drugs included on the NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazar

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