Update: COVID19 2023 The Fight Continues
Bloodborne diseases are known to be the result of pathogens spreading when a person is in contact with contaminated blood.
Pathogens are bacteria or viruses that exist within the blood and can spread to other individuals through the blood. People with frequent occupational exposure to blood are at the highest risk of contracting bloodborne pathogen related diseases.
Multiple diseases are caused by bloodborne pathogens. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people take precautions to prevent contracting the corona virus and maintain theirs’, and their families’ safety.
It’s known that the virus can be transmitted through airborne droplets or by touching surfaces where the virus exists. So, without washing your hands properly, you risk getting the coronavirus.
There have been concerns regarding the virus and people have tried their best to protect themselves for an entire year. This guide serves as a way to inform you that the BBP standard already covers some aspects of the new OSHA COVID advice and that training in it is a necessity.
COVID-19 Advice Covered by the BBP Standard
There is a lot of advice regarding COVID-19 that was already covered by the BBP standard. It is essential to train employers and offer knowledge on COVID-19. The standard covers many items, such as how to deal with pathogens in the workplace, and infection control.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has offered guidance meant to help employers plan protection methods and identify the risks of the coronavirus in the workplace. There is no new legal obligation at this point, but there are recommendations encompassing multiple health standards and mandatory safety.
Congruent with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all employers should comply with the safety and health standards and regulations that OSHA issues and enforces.
Under the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), employers are also required to offer their workers a workplace with no hazards that may lead to them getting physically injured, sick or even lead to their death.
Managing COVID-19 on the Job
Workers should be aware of the following information in order to prevent contracting the virus and potentially spreading it to other workers or their families:
- Good personal hygiene should be maintained. The mouth and nose should be covered with tissue when sneezing or coughing. If there’s no tissue nearby at that moment, sneezing or coughing inside of the elbow is required. Be alert of COVID-19 symptoms as well.
- Staying away from other people is the best way to maintain your safety. There should be minimum 6 feet of distance between each individual.
- Face coverings are important in preventing the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends coverings made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven and breathable material with no exhalation vents or valves. Face coverings should be worn whether you feel sick or not, as they serve as a way to protect others from being infected if you are unaware that you possibly have the virus. It’s especially important if the workplace requires employees to stay closer than 6 feet from each other.
How Employers and Workers Should Respond to COVID-19
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace under the OSHA acts. Thus, a COVID-19 prevention program is very effective in decreasing the spread of the coronavirus at work. Here’s what such a program can help with:
- Naming a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 matters.
- Identifying different measures that can help limit the spread of the coronavirus at work.
- Identifying places where employees might be exposed to the coronavirus in the workplace.
- Establishing a proper communication system with the employees in a language that all of them understand.
- Considering different protections for workers who are at higher risk of getting the virus.
- Giving instructions to workers who are infected and currently isolating or quarantining at home.
- Isolating employees who show symptoms in the workplace.
- Minimizing the negative effects of isolation and quarantine on employees.
- Training and educating workers on your COVID-19 procedures and policies using accessible formats in languages they can understand.
- Not distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
- Implementing a COVID-19 vaccination series or vaccine that is available for free to all eligible workers.
- Adding some sort of protection from retaliation and setting up anonymous processes for any worker who has concerns regarding hazards related to the coronavirus.
- Recording and reporting any infections with the coronavirus and related deaths.
- Offering screening and testing guidance.
Other Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19
There are different measures that employers should use to reduce the coronavirus spread:
- Getting rid of any hazard by separating and also sending home any worker who is infected or possibly infected
- Using face coverings to stop the spread of the hazard
- Adding some physical distancing in all communal work areas
- Adding different barriers in places where physical distancing is not possible
- Using personal protective equipment whenever it’s needed
- Improving ventilation in the workplace
- Offering necessary supplies to help maintain good hygiene in the workplace
- Performing routine cleaning and disinfection
Obtaining Bloodborne Pathogens Certification
You can obtain a bloodborne pathogens certification if you’re worried about COVID-19 in the workplace. It’s very important to offer training to all your employees and contractors. The more knowledge there is on the matter, the better.
By checking out our OSHA-compliant Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Group Training, you can inform your workers and make them more knowledgeable about bloodborne pathogen exposure in the workplace.
There is also bloodborne pathogens training available for individual employees. This type of training will help you obtain some valuable information on how to keep the safety of the workplace and the employees during the pandemic. It will also instruct you on how to get the Bloodborne Pathogens Certification.