The city's fire union is asking a judge to halt newly codified rules that direct firefighters to clean up blood and bodily fluids at accident and medical scenes.
The Detroit Fire Fighter Association is asking a Wayne County Circuit judge to grant an injunction to halt the practice until an unfair labor complaint is resolved.
The union, in its Thursday lawsuit, argues the regulations could expose crews to HIV, hepatitis or other blood-borne pathogens and pose an "imminent" risk to the health and safety of workers and the public. But fire administration countered that while the policy wasn't in writing before, it's not new.
Detroit Fire Fighter Association President Mike Nevin said the policy is a "safety hazard" that was "poorly imposed" by management without consulting the union.
"They've had a few of these runs where they are just blasting blood everywhere. I hope they don't get any in their eyes and mouth," Nevin said. "This is a completely different line of work than we're used to."