Resources for Designated Officers
Infection Prevention and Emergency Service Workers
Emergency Service Workers are at an increased risk of exposure to communicable diseases. The risk of exposure can be reduced with the implementation of proper health and safety programs designed to protect workers from communicable diseases. The role of the Designated Officer in such programs is essential.
As part of the Health Unit’s role in supporting our area Designated Officers, the resources listed below are available to you. These resources will assist the Designated Officer in assessing and managing exposures to communicable diseases to protect the health of the workers and to prevent further spread of infectious organisms.
Have you or your co-worker been exposed?
- Report Exposure to your Designated Officer or supervisor
- Follow the What To Do Next...After an exposure to potential blood borne infections
- Complete the Designated Officer Incident Exposure Report Form
Health Unit Contact Numbers for Reporting
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30pm
- Infectious Diseases Program 519-376-9420 press “6”
After hours and on weekends
- Phone after hours emergency number
Ideally, testing the source person is the most effective method to assess risk. When an exposure has happened and the source is known, the health care provider can explain to this person that it is important to complete blood testing (for HIV, HBV and HCV) so that the exposed person can make medical decision for him/herself (for example post exposure prophylaxis medication).
Consent is needed for:
- Drawing the blood AND
- Sharing the test results with the health care provider of the exposed person.
Consent to Draw Blood Form
Mandatory Blood Testing Act 2006
If the source refuses to consent and provide a blood sample voluntarily, the exposed person can initiate the Mandatory Blood Testing Act Process.
To qualify, the exposed person (referred to as the applicant) must apply to the Medical Officers of Health at the local Public Health Unit where the source resides.
The applicant must have come into contact with a bodily substance from the source (referred to as the respondent) in any of the following circumstances:
- As a results of being a victim of crime,
- While providing emergency health services or emergency first aid to the person, or
- In the course of his or her duties, if he or she belongs to an identified group of individuals, including:
- Members of the College of Nurses of Ontario,
- Members of the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario, Medical students in training,
- Firefighters (including volunteer),
- Paramedics and emergency medical attendants,
- Persons, who are employed in a correctional institution, place of open custody, or place of secure custody,
- Police officers, civilian employees of a police service, or
- First Nations constables and auxiliary members of a police service.
The documents required by the Mandatory Blood Testing Act are time sensitive and MUST be filed with the Health Unit within 7 days of exposure. If forms are not completed and provided to the Medical Officer of Health within this time period, the Mandatory Blood Testing Act process cannot proceed.
Mandatory Blood Testing Act Forms
Mandatory Blood Testing Act
Roles and Responsibilities
Role of the Designated Officer:
Role of the Grey Bruce Health Unit
The Health Unit will:
- Be available to the Designated Officers in Grey Bruce County for consultation
- Review information on any incidents reported by a Designated Officer
- Assist the Designated Officer in assessing whether exposure may have occurred
- Provide recommendations to the Designated Officer for action, such as medical attention, testing, prophylaxis, follow-up and counselling
- Monitor reportable communicable diseases and notify contacts, including Emergency Service Workers
The Health Unit will not:
Ontario Association of Designated Officers (OADO)
The OADO is an organization of designated officers who represent Police, Fire and Paramedic services, Public Heath Units, Transfer Services, Industry Partners and Correctional Institutions in Ontario. OADO provides a forum for Ontario’s designated officers to build capacity in infection prevention and control (IPAC) which will serve to provide consistency between services when responding to exposure risks.
OADO has resources for Designated Officers and is available to collaborate with your organization to create effective and practical solutions for the infection prevention and control problems facing the emergency and justice service workers of Ontario.
For more information please visit: Public Services Health and Safety Association | Designated Officer Program Overview (pshsa.ca)
Designated Officers Training