A vaccination program for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and tetanus is required when workers have a risk of exposure to blood, body fluids and sharps in the course of their work in WA.
WHP will work with you to manage your workplace vaccination program, and create the records you are required to keep on who is vaccinated.
We specialise in onsite work vaccinations to minimise your workers downtime and maximise cost efficiencies. Call us to get an idea of pricing and how the logistics of a workplace vaccination work. This includes pre-vaccination screening (also known as serological testing) to assess who is already immune to Hepatitis A and/or Hepatitis B.
Employers have a ‘Duty of Care’ under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 to provide and maintain for employees, as far as practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to health. This includes providing a safe system of work, information, training, supervision, and where appropriate personal protective equipment. For some industries and roles, this will include a vaccination program for infectious diseases . The employer also has the duty to monitor conditions at the workplace and to monitor the health and safety of employees. This includes vaccination program records, or an Immunisation Register.
- WorkSafe have put together a Hepatitis B Q&A document which discusses Hepatitis B in the workplace.
- Another resource is the National Code of Practice for the Control of Work-related Exposure to Hepatitis and HIV (Blood-borne) Viruses [NOHSC:2010(2003)]
- As this can get confusing, we are happy to help answer any of your questions on where to start with a vaccination program for infectious diseases.
Who is at risk of exposure to Hepatitis B at work?
The hepatitis B virus is present in the blood of an infected person. The disease is transmitted mainly by contact with infected human blood (but occasionally also by other routes). In work settings, the disease can be spread by:
- piercing the skin with equipment which has not been properly cleaned and sterilised (ie: a sharps or needle stick injury)
- the hepatitis B virus entering the body through minor cuts and abrasions if contact is made with infected blood, blood products, or sometimes other body fluids
- contact with urine or faeces which may contain blood
Who needs a vaccination program for infectious diseases?
- Health care workers
- Emergency service workers – ambulance, fire fighters, police and emergency services volunteers
- Cleaners – especially those cleaning public facilities, hotels, aged care homes
- Commercial laundries
- Local council and shire workers
- First Aiders
- Sex industry workers
Employers of workers in these industries should be providing their staff with a vaccination program for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, tetanus, and for some workers this should include Hepatitis A vaccinations.
We are happy to help you navigate your vaccination program requirements.