OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Certification 101

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All workers who may be occupationally exposed to bloodborne pathogens are mandated by OSHA to undertake free bloodborne pathogen training and receive bloodborne pathogens certification. In most cases, the onus is the employer to provide this training and get their staff bloodborne pathogen certification.

The OSHA BBP standard outlines what must be covered in the training in order to achieve bloodborne pathogens certification status.

If you’re not sure what should be covered in the training, in this article we will outline how the training is taken, the main subjects that must be covered, and also look at some of the rules and requirements surrounding OSHA BBP Certification.

Taking Free Bloodborne Pathogens Training

Employers should start bloodborne pathogens certification training at the time a work task that is determined to have a risk of occupational exposure is initially assigned, and at least once annually thereafter. 

Additional training must also be provided when previous procedures and tasks are modified or when new tasks that may risk exposure are added to an employees duties.

OSHA BBP training is now easier to provide to employees with online training

Online bloodborne pathogen certification is convenient for employees as they can choose their own learning pace, pausing and restarting the training at any time depending on their personal schedule.

Another benefit is employees can complete their OSHA BBP certification anywhere. 

Training can be accessed from home, office or anyplace else you can use a mobile device, eliminating the inconvenience of having to travel. 

The flexibility of online group certification training benefits both the employee and the organization since it doesn’t interrupt the work schedule. Employers can learn more here about getting their staff BBP certified quickly and hassle-free.

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Training Coverage

In accordance with OSHA requirements, all training should be sensitive to an employee’s level of literacy, educational level, and language. 

All OSHA BPP certification courses should cover the following components, as well as other important information about bloodborne pathogens.

Basic Information about Bloodborne Diseases

Bloodborne diseases include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, AIDS, syphilis, malaria, and brucellosis, among others. The OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard focusses on the most common of these, HBV, HCV and HIV (AIDS).

Information on the methods Bloodborne Pathogens may be transmitted

Transmission of bloodborne pathogens can occur when blood from an infected person comes into contact with mucous membranes or the non-intact skin of another person; or through a cut or abrasion from a contaminated object. The training should cover the possible main routes of transmission in the workplace.

Explanation of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

The training should outline all OSHA requirements including definitions,  record-keeping, expected compliance methods, means of communication with employees, etc.

Information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Employees should be taught about the different types of personal protective equipment that are mandated to be used to minimize exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These include eye-wear and disposable gloves.

Information about Exposure Control Plans

Employers must have a written exposure control plan and must make this plan available to all employees.

Information about Exposure Control Procedures

The training should cover the procedures that must be followed to prevent and control BBP exposure incidents. These usually include HBV immunizations, container labelling and disposal of contaminated/biohazard waste, amongst other things.

Outline Post Exposure Steps

Employees are required to learn about the steps that need to be followed after a confirmed or expected exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

Your Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate

So, you or your employees have successfully completed an online bloodborne pathogens certification course from a reputable training provider. What happens next?

Depending on the format of the online course you may either receive your certificate immediately by email, or it may be posted to you. Alternatively, at the completion of the course, you may be offered the option to buy a bloodborne pathogen certificate for instant online access.

Whichever training provider or method of obtaining the certification you choose, there are some things you should be aware of about your certificate.

Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate Validity

OSHA mandates that bloodborne pathogens training must be conducted annually – for this reason, the certificate expiry date should be 1 year (365 days) after the issue date.

Bloodborne Pathogen Certification Data

What information is shown on your certificate will depend on the training provider you chose. At a minimum, your certificate should show your full name, the date of issue, the date of expiry and the name of the bloodborne pathogen certification course that was completed. Additional fields may be available for your address, employer details, and other provider specific information.

An example of our bloodborne pathogen certificate is shown below.

Online BPP Certificate Storage

The best online training providers will store your bloodborne pathogens certification status in your online account. This helps you in a few different ways. Firstly, you can always login and view or reprint your BPP certificate at any time you need to. Secondly, your online training provider can send you a reminder when your certificate is nearing expiry – this is usually around 30 days beforehand.

Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Verification

It’s quite possible that at some point someone may want to verify your bloodborne pathogen certification status – this could be your current employer, a future employer or an agency if you later seek contract or temporary work. Most providers will be happy to confirm the details of your certification status by email or telephone.

The best online providers will have an option for online verification where you, or anyone else you provide your certificate code to, can confirm your status and details online.

All of our bloodborne pathogens certification programs offer online verification as standard.


This article took a look at what to expect when obtaining an OSHA BBP certification for yourself or your employees.

If you are an individual seeking certification you can take our online bloodborne pathogen training courses, and decide to purchase a certificate only after completing the training successfully.

You may also be wondering, can I get a free bloodborne pathogen certificate?

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