If you are about to take a bloodborne pathogens class for the first time you might be wondering what to expect. Will there be blood all over the floor when you walk in? We certainly hope not!
A bloodborne pathogens class should be much the same as many of textbook-based science classes you took in high school and college. So, yes, a classroom bases session will include lectures and discussions.
Likely due to the subject matter there will also be pictures, so don’t eat a huge breakfast before the class, and if you have a weak stomach, then be prepared.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
You will hear these words and their acronym PPE all through the class. You will be taught what to have on hand in the case of an emergency and how to properly don and take off the PPE.
What you may not realize is that an infection can occur just as easily taking off your PPE as putting it on. This is especially true when removing disposable gloves, so make sure you pay close attention to the order as well as the method.
Also, bring a pen and paper to make a list of bloodborne pathogens and other potentially dangerous infections, because a lot of information will be thrown at you during the course.
Your training should satisfy the compliance requirements of all the OSHA guidelines early on. If OSHA is not mentioned, consider looking elsewhere for your training.
OSHA developed the bloodborne pathogen standards to protect everyone involved to the highest degree possible. Every safety class must adhere to its standards. If your certification does not, find a different class.
Bloodborne Pathogens Class
After completing the bloodborne pathogens class you should be able to identify the most common bloodborne pathogens. The best known is AIDS and the others include Hepatitis B and C, syphilis, malaria and West Nile virus.
You will also learn what universal precautions are and what bodily fluids that they apply to. A key takeaway to take care when disposing of any sharp instrument which may have had contact with another person’s blood.
You will be taught to be careful when working with or around scalpels, needles, syringes, and other sharps. These can penetrate protective barriers easily. Also, always use a protective barrier between yourself and any potentially dangerous bodily fluids.
Whenever you finish providing aid which could result in exposure, wash your hands and arms beacause bloodborne diseases can be transmitted from blood to the mucous membranes.
Say for instance, that you help clean up blood and a small amount gets on your fingertip. You don’t see this blood and then you pick your nose or rub your eye without washing your hands. Now you could be infected.
You will learn the difference between occupational exposure and an exposure incident. As the name suggests an occupational exposure means you work with blood or potentially infected material.
Most companies will have to deal with exposure incidents at some point like accidents that bring people into contact with bloodborne pathogens. Such as an accidental needle-stick drips blood on another person.
The Importance of Planning
The bloodborne pathogens class must allocate time to outlining what should be done in case of incidents.
The class should cover the procedure for follow up investigations – It’s important to remember that when following up on an accident, the goal should never be to assign blame.
Instead, the goal of the investigation should be to prevent future accidents and ensuring that the same thing doesn’t happen again.
Your bloodborne pathogen class should teach you what different types of labels mean. It is not sufficient to have red bags for the disposal of hazardous material. Everyone must know what types of materials should be disposed off of in them.
Information for Employers
Employers are responsible for telling all employees who they need to contact in case of an emergency. Only certified personnel should respond to and administer first aid to workers in the case of injuries.
An untrained employee who provides first aid can actually result in the transmission of diseases. Having OSHA certified responders means that everyone is better protected.
Make sure your employees know their safety comes first. You must teach each employee what hazard labels mean and who their responders are, and to report every incident.
You should never punish employees for reporting accidents, but do make it clear to them that hiding emergencies is not acceptable. These steps plus the bloodborne pathogen training class make safety the culture of the workplace.
It is better to foster a culture where following procedures is respected and celebrated. What’s more, your company will be in danger of legal action for creating an unsafe environment if procedures are not followed.
Vaccinations must be a part of BBP occupational exposure plans. Employees require all the information related to the vaccine. They may choose to waive their right to vaccination, but must sign papers stating this.
Information for Employees
You should not have to complete bloodborne pathogen training on your own time away from the workplace, the training needs to be offered to you in your own language and at your own reading comprehension level.
Employers cannot make you pay for the training from your own pocket, or insist you complete the training in a specified amount of time.
Remember that the seat time of the training will vary depending on what new information is available, and the number of potential hazards in your work environment. For example if you work in a tattoo or body art studio training times will likely be longer.
Ask any questions you have after the bloodborne pathogens class is completed. Any questions you feel were not properly answered should be directed straight to your supervisor.
If you are looking for high-quality training and OSHA compliant certifications look no further.