OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established a guideline under 29 CFR 1910.1030 federal standards that detail the requirements for the protection of anyone that works in an environment where they may be exposed to blood other any other materials that have the potential to be infectious. Employers must comply with these protection standards by ensuring that the workers that may be exposed to these dangers receive the training needed. Referred to as BBP training, potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens expands over several industries and job descriptions.
OSHA requires all workers that may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens to be trained, no matter if they are full or part time.
BBP includes any microorganism that is disease-causing or potentially disease-causing that can be transmitted through blood or other bodily fluids. The other body fluids are called “OPIM” (other potentially infectious materials) and can include but are not limited to such fluids as: amniotic fluid, vaginal secretions, fluid found around joints and organs such as the heart, brain, knees, spine and lungs; and semen.
Bloodborne pathogens have the potential to transmit infectious diseases such as HBV (Hepatitis B), HCV (Hepatitis C), AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), malaria, syphilis, and brucellosis.
Any individual that is in an environment that has the potential to be exposed to BBP needs to have BBP training. While a majority of these workers are within the healthcare field, there are many that aren’t. Examples of those requiring BBP training include but are not limited to:
Some of the workers that are most at-risk for bloodborne pathogen accidents are those involved in working with or around needles. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) indicates that needlestick injuries remain as some of the most serious methods of potential transmission of dangerous diseases. Around 25% of these individuals are referred to as “downstream” workers and can include but are not limited to:
Additional high-risk workers can include but are not limited to anyone that is exposed to any type of “sharp” that can pierce the skin and transmit a bloodborne pathogen such as:
OSHA requires that employers train high-risk BBP employees when they are:
Whether the status of a risk has changed or not, workers are required to be re-trained on an annual basis. All workers must complete the certification for bloodborne pathogens and employers have to be able to demonstrate that the staff understands the training materials as well as maintain mastery and training evidence on file in case of OSHA request.
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