Who Should Take Eduwhere’s Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Training?
Persons engaging in any activities, including custodial staff working in certain healthcare facilities, who are exposed to blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) while performing their routine work functions need to receive bloodborne pathogens training. This includes:
- dental workers
- first responders
- medical workers
- some janitorial staff
- some maintenance staff; and
Are You at Risk to Encounter Bloodborne Pathogens While Working in a Position in the Healthcare Field?
Healthcare personnel are among the most vulnerable populations for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, established by OSHA in 1991, was created to protect medical personnel from the risk of coming into contact with bloodborne pathogens such as the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Thanks to this standard and its later revision, the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000, medical workplaces were required to strengthen safety measures and provide better recording systems for incidents such as sharps injuries.
Do You Clean Surfaces That May Have Been Contaminated with Blood or Bloodborne Pathogens?
Medical personnel are not the only workers who may come into contact with bloodborne pathogens in a healthcare or other facility. Housekeeping staff may also be exposed to bbp when handling or cleaning blood or other bodily fluids.
While janitorial and maintenance personnel in healthcare facilities are likely all at risk of bloodborne pathogen exposure, this may not be the case for individuals holding similar positions in other sectors. In fields other than healthcare, employers must assess whether housekeeping positions pose a risk that would make bloodborne pathogens training essential according to OSHA standards. The main consideration is whether these personnel are likely to come in contact with blood or other bodily fluids in the course of their job duties, or whether there will be environmental protections in place to prevent this (such as lined receptacles for feminine hygiene products).
Do You Come into Contact With Blood or Potential Bloodborne Pathogens as a First Responder?
First responders–emergency medical technicians (EMT), law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics–frequently risk exposure to bloodborne pathogens when delivering first aid. OSHA requires all first responders to complete the bloodborne pathogens training so that they will be aware of how to avoid or manage bbp exposure in their work. This includes an understanding of components of the exposure control plan in their workplace, such as incident reporting procedures, Hepatitis B virus vaccination standards, and post-exposure protocol.
Do You Perform Phlebotomy or Medical Research in a Laboratory Involving Blood?
If you are a phlebotomist or a medical researcher, you are required to complete bloodborne pathogen training whether you are a full-time employee or a subcontractor on a work site.
According to OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030), companies that send employees to laboratories to perform phlebotomy or medical research assume a degree of shared responsibility for bbp exposure and other risks. Such companies, described as “lessor employers” in the standard, are required to secure bloodborne pathogen training for their employees as well as assume responsibility for appropriate vaccinations and post-exposure evaluation. The client site, on the other hand, must provide PPE, site-specific training, and assume lead responsibility for protecting subcontractors from bbp exposure. Employment contracts between clients and lessor employers should clearly delineate the responsibilities of both parties before work commences.
Industries that Require Bloodborne Pathogens Certifications or Courses
Employees in a wide variety of industries are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These include:
- Athletic training
- Laboratory research
- Logistics (involving heavy machinery)
According to the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard, determining whether employees who work in a particular industry may be affected by occupational exposure takes into account whether such risks can be “reasonably anticipated.” Staff who are likely to come into contact with human blood or blood components, as well as other bodily fluids or cell, tissue, or organ cultures, fall under this criteria. Also at risk are individuals such as laboratory researchers who may come into contact with infected animal blood or tissue.