Employees who can anticipate contact with human blood or other infectious materials as part of their job duties are protected by OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard and should complete bloodborne pathogens training. The risk of bloodborne pathogen exposure is prevalent in any occupation that handles blood or body fluids, including doctors, nurses, members of law enforcement, crime scene cleaners, among others.
What is OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard?
To understand OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, let’s first understand OSHA and its role in workplace safety.
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and is responsible for regulating work conditions and protecting the safety and health of U.S. workers. Since OSHA’s formation in 1970, workplace fatalities have decreased by over 60%, largely due to improved training programs such as the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard.
OSHA’S Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to:
- Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, goggles, and respirators.
- Establish an exposure control plan that contains a list of procedures and tasks performed and a list of job classifications in which workers have occupational exposure to potential bloodborne pathogens.
- Offer ongoing training in OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen standard.
- Identify work practice controls that highlight appropriate practices for handling blood, body fluids, sharps, culture specimens, and other potentially infectious materials.
- Make hepatitis B vaccinations available to all workers with occupational exposure (at the expense of the employer).
- Provide post-exposure follow-up and evaluation to employees who experience an exposure incident.
Cleaning Up Bloodborne Pathogens
Not all bloodborne pathogen exposures are work related, and not every individual who is faced with a potential bloodborne pathogen incident is prepared with the required equipment and knowledge. The fact is, no one can plan for a loved one or colleague falling victim to a violent crime, suicide, industrial accident, or other trauma. What you can plan for, however, is the cleanup that will inevitably take place afterwards.
Cleaning up a scene where there are potential bloodborne pathogens should be left to a professional bioremediation company like Aftermath. All of Aftermath’s technicians go through OSHA bloodborne pathogen training and adhere to specific quality assurance standards. As a nationwide industry leader in trauma and biohazard cleaning, we understand how families can be overwhelmed by the effects of loss, and our hearts go out to those who are suffering. This compassion, paired with almost 20 years of research and experience, are what set Aftermath apart. Contact us today to learn more.