Knowing how to choose an OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training course that meets your organizational requirements is no easy task. With many factors to consider and hundreds of vendors, things can get confusing fast.
Suffering preventable bloodborne infections was a common issue that affected approximately 9,000 people up until 1992. However, there is a good chance that proper OSHA bloodborne pathogens training could have prevented a significant number of these infections.
In 1992, OSHA put into practice the Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Standard to minimize the significant number of bloodborne related deaths and infections recorded each year amongst individuals who got exposed to pathogens while performing their daily work tasks.
As per the bloodborne pathogens standard, employers are required to implement standard precautions, develop an exposure plan, and provide personal protective equipment.
Types of OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training Course
OSHA stipulates three main types of bloodborne pathogens training. These include initial, additional and annual training. As per the OSHA ‘Training Requirements in OSHA Standards’ document:
(ii) Training shall be provided as follows:
(A) At the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place;
(B) At least annually thereafter. (iii) reserved (iv) Annual training for all employees shall be provided within one year of their previous training.
(v) Employers shall provide additional training when changes such as modification of tasks or procedures or institution of new tasks or procedures affect the employee’s occupational exposure. The additional training may be limited to addressing the new exposures created.
Initial Bloodborne Pathogen training occurs on or before the start date of employment and entails an overview of the procedures to follow after exposure to a bloodborne pathogen, information related to Hepatitis B vaccinations, the correct way of using personal protection equipment, an overview bloodborne diseases and how they get transmitted. Also, it entails reviewing the employer’s exposure control plan.
Additional training occurs whenever exposure risks change or when there is an establishment of new safety procedures or equipment.
Finally, annual training takes place once a year upon the expiration of the previous training. This is often when employers begin to look for a Bloodborne Pathogens training course that best suits their organizational needs.
What the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Training Standard Covers
The main aim of the OSHA bloodborne pathogens training standard is to keep employees safe. Having access to a comprehensive training course covering essential topics is a must for you to meet this goal.
Your chosen bloodborne pathogens training course should cover these essential topics at a minimum:
Introduction to Bloodborne Pathogens
A successful OSHA bloodborne pathogens course is one that starts by defining the basics. The best training courses cover everything related to the subject while assuming the trainee has zero knowledge in that field.
Therefore, it makes sense to choose an OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training course that meets your organizational requirements and gives an in-depth explanation of the exposure control plan requirements for your state and employer, an overview of bloodborne diseases, how bloodborne pathogens get transmitted, and meets the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard 1910.1030.
From these topics, you’ll get an overview regarding the importance of the training and the underlying dangers of encountering blood or handling needles.
Here, you’ll get information regarding the definition of bloodborne exposure and how you can prevent it. From this overview, trainees should gain a basic understanding of what bloodborne exposure is and its implications in the context of their work environment.
The main subjects covered here include the risk of exposure, information on how to reduce or prevent the risks of exposure, having a clear understanding concerning the reduction methods and limitation of prevention, personal protective equipment and the best way of using it, including selection, use, handling, and disposal.
After this section, your team should be in a position of identifying tasks and possible areas of risk exposure, and how to plan to reduce vulnerability and transmission of bloodborne infections.
What Next After Exposure?
It is essential for your team to know what to do next in case of exposure. Therefore, training must cover critical areas such as the necessary actions to take, who to call, Hepatitis B vaccination and any other relevant information.
In addition to this, you need to keep your employees up-to-date concerning the exposure control plan for your organization. Also, remember to update them on where to get access program in case they need it.
Paperwork is an unavoidable occurrence when bloodborne exposure inevitably occurs. Therefore, the training system chosen must include details related to evaluation and procedures that follow the exposure.
The training course must cover the reporting procedure, post-exposure evaluation, post-exposure medical follow-up, and post-exposure follow up.
Reporting procedures are essential in this case since they help in tracking exposure, diseases and the effectiveness of the preventative measures.
What Else To Look for in Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Since OSHA is not strict on matters relating to how Bloodborne pathogens training courses are delivered, your organization has some flexibility in selecting the preferred training course and delivery method for your team and industry.
Your organization can use either offline or online training. However, the chosen program must provide for free interaction with an instructor. OSHA takes this as a mandatory requirement, but it is of great benefit to you and your trainees since it provides the best way for getting your questions answered quickly. The interaction can take place via an email or live chat or can be a person on your organization who supports the online training.
But what is the best choice between live and online training?
Online vs Instructor Led Bloodborne Pathogens Training
In choosing the mode of training, consider the language used by the training population, location of your training population, production, shifts, and scheduling time, the technology available, and technological literacy.
Classroom training is the best option if you lack technology equipment necessary to train your team or large groups. Also, this is the mode to go for if your training population is not technology literate.
However, online OSHA bloodborne pathogens training is the best option since OSHA does not mandate hands-on labs. Online training is the most preferred if you want to scale up without interrupting production schedules.
Essential Items For Your Bloodborne Pathogens Training Program
Before selecting a training provider and program, ensure it ticks these boxes:
- Includes OSHA-aligned course content,
- Covers all the key topics
- Provides an initial, additional, and annual training option
- Meets the technology, language, reporting and scheduling needs of your organization.