Bloodborne Pathogens and Safe Response
If you are a health professional,
a designated first responder, or first aid provider in your
company, or if you are involved in maintenance or housekeeping
work that could potentially expose you to bloodborne
pathogens, you need to know how to protect yourself from potentially
What are Bloodborne
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms in human blood that can cause
disease in humans. Examples are hepatitis B virus (HBV), human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria, syphilis, and brucellosis.
Engineering and Work Practice
Your company strives to reduce
the risk of infection to employees who, in order to perform
their jobs, may be reasonably anticipated to come into contact
with blood and other potentially infectious materials. The
risks can be reduced by following good work practices. Universal
is an approach to infection control where all human blood
and certain human body fluids are treated as if they were
known to be infectious for bloodborne
Follow these precautions
when working with human blood and other potentially infectious
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Dispose of sharps properly.
Properly label and enclose any material contaminated with
blood or OPIMs in leakproof
red bags or containers.
Wash your hands after handling contaminated material (even though you
were wearing PPE).
Report any exposure incident to your employer. An exposure incident
is any specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact
skin, or parenteral contact with blood or OPIM resulting from the
performance of an employee's duties.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B is the greatest bloodborne
pathogen risk. Your employer offers you the hepatitis B vaccination
series when your job duties could expose you to blood or certain
body fluids. If you initially refuse the vaccination, you
must sign a declination form, but you can request to be vaccinated