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Breaking Regulatory News

NEW!! President Biden Issues Directive to OSHA Regarding Workplace Covid Rules

On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on worker health and safety directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue updated guidance on COVID-19 worker protections. We do not yet know what the updated guidance will look like, but the executive order also instructs OSHA to review enforcement efforts and make adjustments to  focus OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk or are contrary to anti-retaliation principles.  Stay Tuned!!

New!! Virtual Safety Training

On August 10, 2020 OSHA issued a Letter of Interpretation relating to the exclusive use of on-line or virtual training materials to satisfy requirements in the regulations.  Although the letter ultimately said that each situation would have to be evaluated based on the individual circumstances, but they did give some insight into their thinking.  In the memo, Mr. Patrick J. Kapust, Acting Director for the Directorate of Enforcement Programs writes:

" Employers need to examine the standards applicable to their workplaces and determine whether the training tools (such as online or virtual reality) they are using advance their employees’ overall comprehension and understanding of workplace hazards.

Effective safety and health training should include hands-on instruction and exercises, which provide employees the opportunity to become familiar with protective measures such as personal protective equipment, and safe workplace practices. For example, the purpose of hands-on training in the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment is two-fold: first, to ensure that workers have an opportunity to learn by experience and second, to assess whether workers have learned to use the protective gear competently."

Here's a link to that interpretation letter:

It's long been our position that training aids such as videos, Powerpoint slideshows and even our own training workbooks are great tools for the trainer but can never REPLACE the trainer!

Here's a link to an excellent OSHA Pamphlet entitled Resource for Development and Delivery of Training to Workers:

And if safety training videos are something you find useful, we're pretty partial to the AAHA BeSafe! veterinary specific videos (Hint, Phil is the author of the content so that's why we like them so much!)  Click here to learn about those videos!

OSHA Fines Increased

New!! For 2021 the minimum penalty for a Serious Violations stayed at $964 per infraction but the maximum fine has been raised to $13, 653 for both Serious & Other Than Serious Violations:

In 2020, the minimum penalty for a Serious Violation is $964 per infraction and a maximum of $13, 494.  For an Other-than-Serious violation (usually administrative violations), the minimum can be as little as zero dollars and as much as $13,494 per infraction.  Read the entire document here:

Chemotherapy & Dangerous Drugs

Exposure to Hazardous Drugs is an issue of concern and alot of attention to the provisions of USP Standard 800 has been in the professional news lately.  It has been our position that USP 800 DOES NOT APPLY to the use of commercially prepared chemotherapy drugs in a veterinary hospital.  Our position is that OSHA's General Industry Standard is the governing authority for such activities.  On November 25, 2019, the USP issued an updated FAQ on the provisions of USP 800.

In that updated FAQ, section 2 clearly states, "USP <800> only applies to handling of hazardous drugs (HDs) where there is a risk of exposure to patients, healthcare workers, and the environment. USP <795> and <797> were intended to contain reference to <800>, which would make <800>  apply to compounding. For HDs, this means only when a practitioner is “compounding” (as that term is defined in <795> and <797>) would <800> be applicable. For example, since administration and dispensing final dosage forms is out of scope of <795> and <797>, <800> would not apply in this context.

You can read that FAQ here:

Eye Injuries from canine otic medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of eye injury and irritation in both people and dogs following application of the canine ear medications Osurnia® or Claro® to dogs.

Controlled Drug News

As of July 1, 2017, Gabapentin is now a schedule V controlled drug in Kentucky.  Other states are expected to follow.
Click here to read the press release

On July 2, 2014,  the DEA issued the final notice making Tramadol a schedule IV FEDERAL controlled drug effective August 18, 2014.  Veterinary practices must now inventory, secure and record all uses of Tramadol.  Read the notice here:

On August 22, 2014, the DEA issued the final notice changing all hydrocodone products from a Schedule III to a Schedule II classification.  This will result in more restrictive ordering and prescribing rules.  The effective date of this new rule is October 6, 2014.  Read the notice here:


Did You Know...

Controlled substance regulations do vary slightly state by state, but they can never be less stringent than the federal rules. 

The Complete Veterinary Practice Controlling Controlled Drug Manual contains detailed instructions on complying with the Controlled Substance Act and it's regulations.

Click here to read more about this valuable reference.

The Complete Veterinary Practice Regulatory Compliance Manual