Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can be found in human blood that cause diseases, including hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). You are required to provide employee safety training on the hazards of being exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) while at work.
Employees may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens in many ways, but needlestick injuries are the most common cause. Bloodborne pathogen exposure may also occur when employees come into contact with contaminants through their nose, mouth, eyes, or skin.
To protect at-risk employees from exposure to bloodborne pathogens the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed its Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030).
If you are looking to take a bloodborne pathogens training course, we offer comprehensive courses based on OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard.
Bloodborne pathogens training teaches employees how to reduce exposure through:
Workers should also be trained on the details of their facility's Exposure Control Plan. OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to create these control plans as a first step towards preventing infection.
The plan should spell out how a facility will address the requirements of the OSHA regulation itself, and also provide a determination of each employee's potential risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. If employees work in a facility where exposure to blood or blood-related products is possible, the Exposure Control Plan will also cover how workers can obtain Hepatitis B vaccinations through their employer’s vaccination program.
During bloodborne pathogens training, instructors should provide an overview of all labels and signs used in the workplace to communicate hazards, including labels affixed to containers of regulated waste; containers of contaminated reusable sharps; refrigerators and freezers containing blood or OPIM; contaminated equipment that is being shipped or serviced; and bags or containers of contaminated laundry.
In addition, employees should also receive instruction on the procedures that should be followed if an accidental exposure to a bloodborne pathogen occurs.
All workers at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens must be provided with training. This may include employees in many fields, including first responders, housekeeping personnel, nurses and other healthcare personnel.
Employers must offer bloodborne pathogen training to employees on their initial assignment and whenever new or modified tasks or procedures could affect a worker's risk of occupational exposure.
Those who complete the training must be re-trained annually to renew their bloodborne pathogen certification.
Bloodborne pathogens training records must be retained for three years from an employee’s training date. Whether training records are kept on paper or electronically, employers must be able to easily access them in case an OSHA compliance officer comes knocking.
In order to comply with OSHA’s BBP training requirements, records must include the following information:
What formats and tools are best for bloodborne pathogens training?
When it comes to bloodborne pathogens training, it's best to utilize what’s known as a blended learning approach.
With training management software, engaging and interactive online bloodborne pathogens courses can be delivered to workers in a classroom setting, or from employees’ individual work stations.
However, training managers should know that in order to achieve compliance with OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens training requirements, online or video-based training must be supplemented with site-specific information.
Vector Solutions' video-on-demand courses allow instructors easily accomplish this. Instructors can easily pause and resume training videos when needed to provide additional guidance and site-specific instruction.
When selecting bloodborne pathogen training content, instructors should also select coursework that’s intended for their industry. To help organizations deliver training that best suits their workforce, Vector Solutions offers online courses specifically tailored to employees in commercial and industrial facilities, first response environments, and healthcare facilities.