Bloodborne Pathogen Kits Explained

Bloodborne Pathogen Kits being delivered

As an employer, are you aware of the potential risks of bloodborne pathogens in your workplace and the dangers these could present to your employees?

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can be present in blood or human bodily fluids. They can cause serious infections and diseases that in some cases can be life-threatening. 

These pathogens include viruses such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Understanding and protecting against these risks is important for every business. This is where bloodborne pathogen kits can play a role in promoting a safer environment.

Protection From Exposure to Dangerous Pathogens

Pathogen kits can help protect against exposure to blood and fluids that may contain blood borne pathogens. Kits vary by manufacturer and you should ensure that any kits you intend to purchase are from a reputable supplier and meet both OSHA and NIOSH guidelines.

Kits include personal protective equipment (PPE), bloodborne pathogen cleanup items and germicidal chemicals. 

A typical kit would usually include the following items:

By using such a kit, workers can reduce their risk of coming into contact with pathogens. Personal protective equipment provides a barrier between the individual and any potentially infectious materials.

A typical bloodborne pathogens kit
A typical bloodborne pathogens kit

Assist with First Aid Procedures

Injuries can, and do happen in any workplace. These injuries may result in exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Pathogen kits are necessary for providing first-aid care to injured employees.

Pathogen kits contain the necessary supplies to treat minor cuts and abrasions. They may include items such as antiseptic wipes, tweezers, wound dressings and hand sanitizer. This can help prevent any potential infections after a workplace injury is sustained.

Compliance with Regulations

In certain industries, businesses must have bloodborne pathogen kits available on-site. This is to be compliant with regulations set forth by federal agencies such as OSHA who enforce the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.

These regulations require all employers who operate worksites where employees may be at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens to have a Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan

An exposure control plan outlines how the employer will identify the risks of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. It must also include procedures for preventing and mitigating exposure, and for responding to potential exposures.

As part of this plan, having pathogen kits available is an essential element. 

Non-compliance with OSHA BBP regulation can result in substantial fines and legal implications for a business.

Boosting Employee Confidence and Morale

By making pathogen kits available, employers show their commitment to employee safety. This can boost employee confidence and the sense of well-being in the workplace.

Employees will know that their employer is actively working on protecting them from workplace hazards. This can create a sense of trust and loyalty between employees and the organization.

Bloodborne Pathogen Training

The availability of pathogen kits can also provide opportunities for employee training. 

For example, you can offer employees training on how to use the kit in case of an emergency.

You can also offer training in the use of kits as a complement to mandatory Bloodborne Pathogen Training. 

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen certification is a compulsory annual training that must be undertaken by all employees at risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens. 

Bloodborne pathogen training covers essential content such as the types of bloodborne pathogens and how they are transmitted, procedures for working around blood and OPIM and what to do in the event of an exposure. Employees will also learn about their right to HBV immunization and any specific additional information required in certain industries, for example bloodborne pathogens for healthcare workers or bloodborne pathogen certification for tattoo artists.

Minimize Business Disruption and Costs

Workplace Injuries and illnesses as a result of bloodborne pathogens exposure can lead to employee absence. This of course can have a downstream impact on business productivity and operations.

By having available pathogen kits, organizations can reduce the risk of exposure incidents occurring. This helps to minimize downtime and maintain a smooth workflow.

Bloodborne Pathogen Kits are important

Bloodborne pathogen kits play an important role in promoting workplace safety. Providing these kits is a proactive step towards protecting your workforce. 

Make sure that your employees are trained in the correct use of pathogen kits to supplement the essential knowledge they will receive in their bloodborne pathogen certification.

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