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Communicable Disease and Eligibility for Workers' Compensation Benefits

Rule 122.3. Exposure to Communicable Diseases: Reporting and Testing Requirements for Emergency Responders.

  1. This section applies to all law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service employees, paramedics, and correctional officers who are either state employees or employees covered under workers' compensation insurance (to include those who are providing services as a volunteer and are covered by workers' compensation insurance).

  2. For purposes of this section "reportable disease" means communicable diseases and health conditions required to be reported to the Texas Department of Health by the Texas Health and Safety Code, §81.041, as amended, including: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); amebiasis; anthrax; botulism - adult and infant; brucellosis; campylobacteriosis; chancroid; chickenpox; Chlamydia trachomatis infection; cholera; cryptosporidiosis; dengue; diphtheria; ehrlichiosis; encephalitis; Escherichia coli 0157:H7; gonorrhea; Hansen's disease (leprosy); Heamophilus influenzae type b infection, invasive; hantavirus infection; hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); hepatitis, acute viral; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; legionellosis; listeriosis; Lyme disease; malaria; measles (Rubeola); meningitis; meningococcal infection, invasive; mumps; pertussis; plague; poliomyelitis, acute paralytic; rabies in man; relapsing fever; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; rubella (including congenital); salmonellosis, including typhoid fever; shigellosis; streptococcal disease, invasive Group A; syphilis; tetanus; trichinosis; tuberculosis; tuberculosis infection in persons less than 15 years of age; typhus; Vibrio infection; viral hemorrhagic fevers; and yellow fever. This list of diseases may change from time to time. To determine the most current list of reportable diseases and exposure criteria refer to Texas Department of Health rules, 25 TAC Chapter 97, Communicable Diseases.

  3. An employee listed in subsection (a) of this section will not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits for a reportable disease unless the employee:

    1. had a test performed within 10 days of an exposure to the reportable disease that indicated the absence of the reportable disease (Exposure criteria and testing protocol must conform to Texas Department of Health requirements. This rule does not prohibit a decision-maker's consideration of other factors.); and

    2. provided the employer with a sworn affidavit of the date and circumstances of the exposure and a copy of the results of the test required by subsection (c)(1) of this section.

  4. The employer's insurance carrier, including state and political subdivision employers, shall be liable for the costs of test(s) required by subsection (c) of this section, regardless of the results of the test(s), in addition to any other benefits required to be paid by the Texas Workers' Compensation Act or administrative rules. The cost of a state employee's testing, regardless of the results of the test, shall be paid from funds appropriated for payment of workers' compensation benefits to state employees.

  5. Section 110.108 of this title (relating to Employer Notice Regarding Work-Related Exposure to Communicable Diseases/ HIV: Posting Requirements; Payment for Tests) requires each employer with employees covered by this section to post the notice contained in subsection (d) of that section in its workplace to inform employees of the requirements of this section.

  6. Emergency responders and employers of emergency responders should also refer to the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 81 and Texas Department of Health rules, 25 TAC Chapter 97, Communicable Diseases, to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements.

Effective date: October 15, 1997