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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Potential Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens and Workers’ Compensation

            Periodically, confusion arises over a workers’ compensation claim to cover the cost of post-exposure testing after being exposed to blood or body fluids.  The State of Ohio currently covers the cost of post-exposure testing for peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers employed or volunteering for a covered provider.

            Confusion on this issue generally arises over what is “exposure.”  For the purpose of workers’ compensation coverage exposure is defined as the exposure to blood or other bodily fluids through: (1) A splash or spatter in the eye or mouth, including when received in the course of conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation; (2) A puncture in the skin; or (3) A cut in the skin or another opening in the skin such as an open sore, wound, lesion, abrasion, or ulcer.  If the exposure happens in some other way than these three ways (such as exposure of unbroken skin to blood) then post exposure testing is not covered by workers’ compensation.

            If you are exposed to blood or other bodily fluids in the manner listed above, then post-exposure testing is covered.  If you are exposed in this method, you should notify your immediate supervisor immediately and get the post-exposure blood tests as soon as possible.  When notifying your supervisor it is important that you state the type of exposure.  You should also tell this to the physician or nurse administering the post-exposure testing the nature of the exposure.  It is also a good idea to note the exposure in any reports that you must complete about the incident when the exposure occurred.  This will help the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) administer your claim and help insure that your claim is not denied.

            If your claim for post-exposure testing is denied, it is important that you file your appeal with the BWC within 14 days of receiving notice of the denial.  If you do not appeal the denial during this time period the BWC will permanently close your claim.  If you have questions about this or any other workers’ compensation matter, or need help appealing a decision by BWC please contact our office.  We are here to assist you.


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With offices in Toledo and Lima, OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

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