The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with the idea of safety and regulation for hazardous occupations in mind, developed and established the Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard in 1991. The standard saw itself amended to what it is today in 2000, by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. You can see OSHA’s detail on the Bloodborne Pathogens standard on their website.
Although it is fairly obvious that doctors and nurses will need training in regard to this, there are a fair few professions that require Bloodborne Pathogens Certification that may surprise you, and indeed, may even surprise newcomers to the occupation itself.
What does the Bloodborne Pathogens standard cover?
To make it simple, the Bloodborne Pathogen standard sets precautions and procedures to protect at-risk employees from exposure to infected substances and materials, such as bodily fluids. Such precautions include, but are not limited to, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for any instances where there is a reasonable expectation of an employee being subject to infected substances and materials.
The BBP standard is also responsible for ensuring the use of specialised containers, containers used during transfer or disposal of substances or materials that may be contaminated with any kind of potentially infectious vectors.
The BBP standard is a well thought out and comprehensive piece of legislation that applies in a wide range of scenarios.
Who needs Bloodborne Pathogens training?
free Bloodborne Pathogens training must be provided to all employees that have a genuine chance of being in an environment that is introduced to human blood, bodily fluids, or any other potentially infectious substances. This includes but is not limited to, employees that work roles that require them to decontaminate areas that were previously contaminated with any potentially infectious substance.
It must also be provided by the employer to any employees that have been trained and assigned to provide healthcare and medical services.
This includes employees who conduct first aid as a secondary duty to their typical work duties.
What does BBP training cover?
Any training given per the Bloodborne Pathogen standard will be provided by, or at the expense of the employer and must be given in adherence with the requirements that OSHA has outlined.
Training must always be provided at the initial assignment to any roles where occupational exposure is a risk. It is also mandated that such training must be repeated at least once a year after the initial training, for all occupations.
If any occupational duties have been modified or changed in some way that affect an employee’s exposure, additional training must be provided which directly addresses the new risks involved. This, of course, leads to millions of people taking their training every year.
In many cases, employees will undertake bloodborne pathogens training free, purchase a certificate, and provide their subsequent Bloodborne Pathogen Certification to their employer, so that they may be reimbursed.
Depending on the provider and the occupation, the exact training may differ slightly.
However, all training will address the methods required to dispose of any contaminated materials or substances. It will also describe the precautions a worker must take whenever they enter an environment with a reasonable risk of exposure.
Such precautions include risk assessment and correct PPE choice and usage. Other precautions include valuable information such as the benefits of the Hepatitis B vaccine; the vaccine for Hepatitis B is offered free by the employer for any employee with an honest anticipation of exposure. Training will also include information on the correct steps to take in an emergency, where someone has been subject to an incident of exposure.
10 Types of Workers You May Not Know Need Bloodborne Pathogen Training
- Tattoo Artists
Yes, even tattoo artists are required to go through BBP training, testing and certification. It is not uncommon for a tattoo artist to become exposed to blood in their occupation, and they must be trained so they are well equipped to protect themselves and their customers from bloodborne pathogens. There are specific training requirements for tattoo and body artists and you should ensure the course you tale is a Bloodborne Pathogens Tattoo Training course.
- Body Modification Artists
Body mod artists, including piercers, are constantly at risk of exposure due to their profession. Therefore, it only makes sense that they are also required to complete BBP tattoo training and hold valid certification.
- Law Enforcement Officers
That’s right, police are required to obtain an OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate. Police are at risk of responding to a situation that may have caused exposure to BBPs and must be prepared to use their training to minimise the risk involved with such a situation. They must, the same as anyone else, repeat their training annually.
For much the same reason as the police, firefighters must also receive training. Being a firefighter includes a risk of exposure due to the nature of the scenarios they typically respond to.
As they are dealing with human cadavers, morticians have a risk of exposure which is higher than many other occupations. It is in their best interests that OSHA has required them to receive BBP training.
Any janitorial staff working in a medical environment has the chance of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. As a result, any such janitor must undertake training. Janitorial staff in non-healthcare environments do not need training unless their employer deems it necessary.
- Laundry Workers
This one is relatively surprising, but it makes obvious sense. In the same spirit as janitors, laundry workers in healthcare environments must have trained for their Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate. This is due to the risk of soiled and contaminated clothes.
- Dentists and Dental Workers
Dental workers experience a risk of exposure due to their occupation that warrants BBP training. They are included in the category of Healthcare Workers. Many people only think of doctors and nurses in regards to BBP exposure, but dentists do have a reasonable risk and must complete training annually.
- Medical Researchers
Many medical researchers conduct tests and studies on human blood and are therefore at risk of exposure. They must complete the Bloodborne Pathogens training so that they are informed of their precautionary responsibilities.
- Blood Bank Technicians
Of course, it’s obvious when you think about it, due to the sheer amount of blood they deal with due to their occupation. However, it is not something that springs to mind when considering which professions require BBP training. Their risk of exposure is high enough to reasonably warrant the training set out by OSHA.
There are countless professions that require employees to carry out training and receive a Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate before they can start their assigned roles. OSHA has laid out the groundwork for what must be taught, and who requires teaching.
Bloodborne pathogens training is an important part of safety for occupations that are essential to our society. It is important that the training is provided by a reputable and competent vendor and the testing has been done properly.
If you are an employer who needs t get your staff compliant we offer substantial discounts for online bloodborne pathogens group training solutions.
If you are an individual looking to obtain certification you can start your bloodborne pathogens training now just register here.