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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

  


     

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 459

February Session, 2002

 

LCO No. 1846

 

 

Referred to Committee on Labor and Public Employees

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

For Connecticut

AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR EXPOSURE TO HEPATITIS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MENINGITIS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2002) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Body fluids" means blood and body fluids containing visible blood and other body fluids to which universal precautions for prevention of occupational transmission of blood-borne pathogens, as established by the National Centers for Disease Control, apply. For purposes of potential transmission of meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis, the term "body fluids" includes respiratory, salivary and sinus fluids, including droplets, sputum and saliva, mucous and other fluids through which infectious airborne organisms can be transmitted between persons.

(2) "Emergency rescue or public safety worker" means a local or state police officer, state marshal, judicial marshal, correction officer, emergency medical technician, medical response technician, paramedic, ambulance driver, firefighter, active member of a volunteer fire company or fire department engaged in volunteer duties, or active member of an organization certified as a volunteer ambulance service in accordance with section 19a-180 of the general statutes who, in the course of employment, runs a high risk of occupational exposure to hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis.

 


(3) "Hepatitis" means hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A, hepatitis non-B, hepatitis C or any other strain of hepatitis generally recognized by the medical community.

(4) "High risk of occupational exposure" means risk that is incurred because a person subject to the provisions of this section, in performing the basic duties associated with such person's employment:

(A) Provides emergency medical treatment in a nonhealthcare setting where there is a potential for transfer of body fluids between persons;

(B) At the site of an accident, fire or other rescue or public safety operation, or in an emergency rescue or public safety vehicle, handles body fluids in or out of containers or works with or otherwise handles needles or other sharp instruments exposed to body fluids;

(C) Engages in the pursuit, apprehension or arrest of law violators or suspected law violators and, in performing such duties, may be exposed to body fluids; or

(D) Is responsible for the custody and physical restraint, when necessary, of prisoners or inmates within a prison, jail or other criminal detention facility, while on work detail outside the facility or while being transported and, in performing such duties, may be exposed to body fluids.

(5) "Occupational exposure", in the case of hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis, means an exposure that occurs during the performance of job duties that may place a worker at risk of infection.

(b) Any emergency rescue or public safety worker who suffers a condition or impairment of health that is caused by hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis that requires medical treatment, and that results in total or partial incapacity or death shall be presumed to have sustained such condition or impairment of health in the course of employment and shall be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits pursuant to chapter 568 of the general statutes, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence, provided:

(1) The emergency rescue or public safety worker has, prior to diagnosis, undergone standard, medically acceptable tests for evidence of the communicable disease for which the presumption is sought or for evidence of medical conditions derived therefrom, which tests failed to indicate the presence of infection, or in the case of hepatitis infection, shall have banked serum for future testing, which future tests fail to reveal evidence of infection; and

(2) The emergency rescue or public safety worker presents a written affidavit verifying by written declaration that, to the best of the worker's knowledge and belief:

(A) In the case of meningococcal meningitis, in the ten days immediately preceding diagnosis, the worker was not exposed, outside the scope of employment, to any person known to have meningococcal meningitis or known to be an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.

(B) In the case of tuberculosis, in the period of time since the worker's last negative tuberculosis skin test, the worker has not been exposed, outside the scope of employment, to any person known by the worker to have tuberculosis.

 


(c) The employing agency shall maintain a record of any known or reasonably suspected exposure of an emergency rescue or public safety worker in its employ to the diseases described in this section and shall immediately notify the employee of such exposure. An emergency rescue or public safety worker shall file an incident or accident report with the worker's employer of each instance of known or suspected occupational exposure to hepatitis infection, meningococcal meningitis or tuberculosis.

   

This act shall take effect as follows:

Section 1

October 1, 2002

LAB

Joint Favorable