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Complying with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

To determine whether your business is impacted by the bloodborne pathogens standard, which applies to “all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials,” see OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030(a). According to the Standard, “occupational exposure” is defined as “reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties,” [see 1910.1030(b)]. The requirements for exposure determinations are set forth in 1910.1030(c)(2). Each employer having an employee(s) with occupational exposure as defined by paragraph (b) of this section shall establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure.

Employers that are required to have a written Exposure Control Plan are also required to provide training to all employees with occupational exposure on an annual basis at no cost to the employee and during working hours.

According to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030(g), the training program shall contain at a minimum the following elements:

  • An accessible copy of the regulatory text of this standard and an explanation of its contents
  • A general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne diseases
  • An explanation of the modes of transmission of bloodborne pathogens
  • An explanation of the employer’s exposure control plan and the means by which the employee can obtain a copy of the written plan
  • An explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials
  • An explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure including appropriate engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment
  • Information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of personal protective equipment
  • An explanation of the basis for selection of personal protective equipment
  • Information on the hepatitis B vaccine, including information on its efficacy, safety, method of administration, the benefits of being vaccinated, and that the vaccine and vaccination will be offered free of charge
  • Information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • An explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available
  • Information on the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up that the employer is required to provide for the employee following an exposure incident
  • An explanation of the signs and labels and/or color coding required by 1910.1030 (g) (1)
  • An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with the person conducting the training session