The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard: What Your Employees Need to Know
OSHA standards for bloodborne pathogens (BBP, 29 CFR 1910.1030) and personal protective equipment (PPE, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I) require employers to protect workers from occupational exposure to infectious agents.
EMC makes onsite bloodborne pathogen training easy for employers and employees. The health and safety branch in the US Department of Labor has set minimum standards of training for certain job situations.
Onsite Training for Better Safety and Compliance
OSHA and the Center for Disease Control have collaborated to establish the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard, which is intended to reduce exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials in the workplace. Exposure to bloodborne pathogens is covered in EMC safety training along with best work practice suggestions.
Of course, infection control starts with Universal Precautions, or UP — the practice of treating all human blood and certain other bodily fluids as though they had already tested positive for bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and HBV. Although the BBP standard incorporates UP, the infection control community no longer uses UP on its own. Our training program can help your staff members learn the safest and most OSHA compliant ways to deal with bloodborne pathogens.
Benefits of EMC Onsite Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Why choose our onsite training? You can help your employees limit occupational exposure to blood, prevent accidents, and earn a training certification. We’ll also cover how exposure incidents should be reported appropriately using the hazard communications outline.
Individuals and employees need to be protected against bloodborne pathogens so they do not become infected themselves. Bloodborne diseases are spread from person to person through blood and sometimes other bodily fluids. Training is the best way to protect employees and other people. Some of the diseases that can be spread are Hepatitis, both B and C, as well as HIV and Malaria. Many lesser-known infections can spread through contact, such as West Nile and Brucellosis.
The Importance of Being Prepared
Despite their best efforts, employees in the medical profession may expect to come in contact with bloodborne pathogens at some point. For that reason, medical clinics and dental offices should take certain precautions, such as:
- Having an exposure plan in writing and accessible to all employees. The program should cover precautions the individual should take and the procedure they should follow if they become exposed to any blood.
- Offices should have protective gear, including safe needle disposal systems, protective gloves, eye protection, and cover-ups when appropriate.
- Training is the best defense, and EMC can bring the training onsite to make it convenient and practical.
EMC can also help employers remain compliant with OSHA regulations. Certain materials must be posted for employees, and the posting must contain specific information. The employee has the right to written policies, and these policies must spell out what the employee gets access to, what type of training is required, and what the procedures are if they come into contact with bloodborne pathogens. The employer is encouraged to add any additional information to their posting, guidebooks, and systems to help employees.
Who Else Can Benefit from Onsite Bloodborne Pathogen Training?
Healthcare workers who are required to be provided training and written articles concerning bloodborne diseases are not limited to doctor and dental office staff, but also include lab workers, nursing staff, and pharmacists. Employees who are not medical professionals but work at medical facilities may also be required to undergo the same training, such as members of the cleaning crew.
In addition to healthcare employees, first responders are trained and routinely updated on how to prevent infections. First responders include EMTs, paramedics, law enforcement officers, and firefighters. Crime crews must be protected, and they are required to take the training. These teams will also need protective clothing, safety gear, and regular updates.
Daycare workers and school employees need to be prepared to handle blood and other bodily fluids. Guidelines must be posted and available to teachers and staff just as they are at medical offices. Teachers are not the only ones that can be trained, but assistants, janitors, and aides can participate.
Artists in the tattoo industry have OSHA guidelines to follow also. Tattoo artists and individual who tattoo makeup fall under the same category, and they both need certification. Individual states may have additional instructions for tattoo owners to follow.
Know Your Risk of Exposure
Awareness is brought to light during EMC training. People may not be aware of the various circumstances that can lead to exposure. Refresher courses can help keep the issues in front of workers so they remain compliant.
If your business has a compliance officer, that individual can be responsible for keeping the material up to date and ensuring it is available. EMC can work with your compliance officer to train and advise them on what they need to do to keep your company in compliance with OSHA.
Needles can be a primary source of spreading bloodborne pathogens, and there are several things hospitals and other healthcare environments can do to reduce accidental needle pokes:
- They can use syringes with safety cap features that require an additional step to unlock the needle, and once the needle is used, a locking cap is secured over the needle. The locking cap cannot be removed once secured.
- Using fewer injectables might be an option in some settings. Switching to other forms of delivery when applicable reduces overall exposure to needles.
- Needle disposal containers are a must. Disposal containers are a one-way system where the needles can enter the tub, but they cannot come out.
- Protective clothing, such as glasses and face masks, can also help reduce accidental exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
If an individual is exposed, the right training will tell them what to do next. They must alert the supervisor immediately and take medical precautions. Some vaccinations and treatments can be implemented, such as the Hepatitis B vaccine. The incident needs to be documented so management can go over the situation that caused the exposure to see if it can be prevented from happening again.
Our onsite bloodborne pathogen training comes with a 1 year certification, along with the peace of mind that your employees know how to avoid bloodborne pathogens and how to respond in case of exposure. Contact us today for a quote!