Bloodborne Pathogens Training Video: Pros & Cons

Bloodborne Pathogen Training Video

All employees who might be at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens are required by the OSHA 29 CFR 1020.1030 standard to undertake training and receive a bloodborne pathogen certification. There are many different ways to get this training, a popular method is via a bloodborne pathogen video.

The OSHA BBP standard outlines what must be covered in the training in order to achieve bloodborne pathogens certification status.

Bloodborne pathogen training videos have become a popular way to deliver this OSHA mandated training, but are they really a good way to learn about bloodborne pathogens? In this article, we will go through the pros and cons of using video as a method of training delivery.

When is OSHA BBP Training Required?

Employers should start bloodborne pathogens certification training at the time a work task that is determined to have a risk of occupational exposure is initially assigned, and at least once per year after that. 

Additional training must also be provided when procedures and tasks are changed or updated, or when new tasks that may risk exposure are added to employee duties.

Online OSHA bloodborne pathogen training is convenient for employees as they can choose their own learning pace, pausing and restarting the training at any time depending on their personal schedule. Online training is often delivered via video.

Another benefit is employees can complete their OSHA BBP certification anywhere. 

Training can be accessed from home, office or anyplace else you can use a mobile device, eliminating the inconvenience of having to travel.

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Training Coverage

In accordance with the OSHA requirements, all training should be sensitive to an employee’s level of literacy, education level, and language. 

All OSHA Bloodborne pathogen certification courses should cover the following components, as well as other important information about bloodborne pathogens.

Information about common Bloodborne Diseases

The OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard focusses on the most common of these, HBV, HCV and HIV (AIDS).

Information on how bloodborne pathogens may be transmitted

Transmission of bloodborne pathogens can occur when blood from an infected person comes into contact with mucous membranes or the non-intact skin of another person; or through a cut or abrasion from a contaminated object.

Explanation of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

The training should outline all OSHA requirements including definitions,  record-keeping, expected compliance methods, means of communication with employees, etc.

Information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Staff should be taught about the different types of personal protective equipment that must be used to minimize exposure to bloodborne pathogens and OPIM. These include face masks and single-use gloves.

Exposure Control Plan information

Employers must have a written exposure control plan and must make this plan available to all employees.

Exposure Control Procedures information

The training should cover the procedures that must be followed to prevent and control Bloodborne pathogen exposure incidents.

Outline Post Exposure Steps

Employees are required to learn about the mandatory steps after a confirmed or expected exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

Bloodborne Pathogen Training Video Courses: Good or bad?

So, you or your employees are looking for a fast, thorough and easy way to get OSHA compliant. A quick google search will show you a huge number of online training options, usually, they fall into one of three main types:

Powerpoint / Text-Based Bloodborne Pathogen Training

A lot of the training providers have been around a long time and to be honest, have not really updated their training offerings in line with current technology and best practices. 

The content of these courses may be fine but the presentation is limited to reading text on a series of screens with the odd picture thrown in to break things up. 

This is not a great way to learn as most people find it difficult to remember large amounts of text-based information. Given that most online providers fall within the same price point, you would be better to look elsewhere and get a properly developed, modern and interactive free bloodborne pathogen training course for your money.

Bloodborne Pathogen Text Based

Video-Based Bloodborne Pathogens Training

This type of online course uses video as the main way to show you information. A good bloodborne pathogen training video based course will have decent production values and will save your progression through the videos if you pause the course and then resume it.

A bloodborne pathogen training video is usually one of these two types:

  1. Live instructor talking to the camera: 

Usually a first aid or other qualified professional will guide you through the modules mainly by talking to the camera, they may also demonstrate some techniques and other graphics and assets by be used in the video to enhance learning.

  1. Animated video

An animated cartoon-like character guides you through the training, usually with other video assets like graphs and stock pictures to assist. These courses are cheap to make and generally a much lower quality than live video.

Bloodborne pathogen training videos can be a great way to learn, particularly if you like watching videos. The problem with video courses is firstly that are often not designed with instructional design principles and learning objectives in mind, secondly, they are not interactive – all you do is sit there and watch them, so it is easy to forget the topics being discussed when you are not actively engaged. For this reason, we do not recommend video-based courses for most people.

eLearning / Interactive Courses

eLearning based Bloodborne Pathogen training courses are designed to be interactive and engaging. They may mix up various types of training styles and media and include interactions, knowledge checks, graphs, graphics, and also embedded video.

The best eLearning courses will feature short and engaging content that makes the training topics easy to remember. Another benefit of eLearning based Bloodborne pathogens training is that it should be responsive on any device meaning training can be completed on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Bloodborne Pathogen Training Video


This article took a look at bloodborne pathogen training video as a learning method and compared it to other types of online BBP training available on the marketplace.

If you are an individual needing bloodborne pathogen certification you can take our bloodborne pathogen training courses.

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