Workers in many industries in 2023 are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, and it may not only be the industries that you’re thinking of.
The introduction of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard in 1991 sought to address this problem. Let’s take a look at the top 8 industries that mandate OSHA bloodborne pathogens training.
It is a common occurence for healthcare workers to handle blood, but sometimes even healthcare workers don’t protect themselves as required.
In this guide, we’ll cover the top eight industries that require OSHA bloodborne pathogen training for their workforce.
Why OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
There is a wide range of different bloodborne pathogen types, but most of them, such as malaria, are fortunately very uncommon and almost unheard of in the USA.
However, recent research shows that there have been instances of Malaria in the United States.
Other bloodborne pathogens are more common, such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, and are a threat workers in those industries and occupations where coming into contact with blood or other human body fluids is likely.
So let’s take a look at those industries:
According to US statistics, almost 97% of children attend schools all over the nation every day. As part of a normal school day, many children end up falling, fighting and even picking their nose a little too long. All of these things can cause blood exposure both to other children and to educational staff.
Many schools don’t have dedicated school nurses, so it is the responsibility of the teachers to deal with the flow of blood.
Therefore, it is essential for the teachers to receive OSHA bloodborne pathogen training as one way of keeping educators and children safe.
There is a significant chance that the machinery and moving parts used in most modern factory settings can widen the potential reach of a bloodborne pathogens exposure. Proper training is essential in ensuring that factory workers know how to deal with this issue in case of exposure incidents.
Cuts and scrapes are common issues even at the safest construction sites. Additionally, there is a higher chance that bloodborne infections will spread rapidly from one construction site to another because of high construction turnover and daily movement of workers between worksites.
Every state requires child care workers to have undertaken first aid and CPR training. However, it is rare for this training to include information related to bloodborne pathogens.
It is essential for teachers to protect themselves, and be able to provide first aid whenever a child has an injury that results in cuts or bleeding. This issue is even more pressing in classrooms that contain children below two years of age, since there are high chances children of that age will engage in oral play, including placing potentially dangerous or contaminated objects inside their mouthes.
With the correct OSHA bloodborne pathogens training, handling age groups who’re just learning to walk is not a challenge, and is considered essential since bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted easily via blood-to-mouth contact.
5. Tattoo and Body Art
Piercers and tattoo artists often engage in highly conscientious industry-specific training, and most focus on maintaining a clean shop, but not all states conduct bloodborne pathogens training.
So all this focus and industry training makes little sense when we consider how often these artists and piercers come into contact with blood and other human body fluids.
Being careful is a common trait of body artists, even those who haven’t received proper OSHA training. However, we must realize that there is no protection of the artist or mitigation of all risks even when replacing needles for every client.
Therefore, it is essential for every artist to receive the right OSHA bloodborne pathogens certification for tattoo artists.
6. Maintenance Workers
This is a broad field covering everything from handymen to janitors.
Maintaining plant and equipment is an essential part of virtually all other industries. Whenever a mess or spill happens on a site, or something needs a minor repair then ‘call maintenance’.
Cuts and scrapes are the most common workplace injuries for handymen. Combine this with the fact that handymen and maintenance staff are routinely involved in body fluid cleanup and you begin to see that this occupation is actually a fairly high group for bloodborne pathogens exposure.
Therefore, it is essential to provide proper OSHA compliant bloodborne pathogen training to all maintenance workers as one way of ensuring that they follow the correct protocol during cleanups, hence preventing the spread of diseases and keeping maintenance staff safe on the job.
7. Fitness Workers
Fitness centers can be dangerous places, this is because of lots of heavy equipment, high chances for falls and injuries, and several different types of bodily fluids in abundance (think sweat and saliva).
The risk of disease spreading in fitness workplaces is relatively high because of the vast range of bodies sharing machines and weights.
Yes, most of us spray down our equipment before and after use, but not everyone does.
A good percentage of fitness workers have received first aid and CPR training, and others such as trainers and nutritionists have undertaken basic medical training. However, extra OSHA bloodborne pathogen training is essential in keeping your fitness center or gym free from pathogens.
8. Food Handling
Food industry workers cannot usually get thru their shift without coming in contact with fire and knives.
Therefore, it is essential for them to receive OSHA bloodborne pathogen training. However, currently, not all states indicate this training as a mandatory requirement.
Bloodborne pathogens have a high-risk potential for both customers and food service workers.
To prevent this, it is vital for employers to be proactive by providing OSHA compliant training even managers and staff, stopping the potential spread of bloodborne pathogens.
Every Worker Deserves the Right to Bloodborne Pathogens Training
OSHA bloodborne pathogens training should not be an option. It is high time to get yourself certified, certify your workforce, and make your organization a safe place to work with a high-quality bloodborne pathogen training course.