Are you wondering whether it is essential to provide bloodborne pathogen training to restaurant, catering or hospitality staff? Wonder no more.
Ensuring that your restaurant staff receives bloodborne pathogens training and certification will not only equip them to deal with the inevitable instances of occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials (nosebleed anyone?), it will also give you peace of mind that your business is compliant, meets minimum standards, and above all, is operating safely and protecting both your customers and staff
In this guide, you’ll go over the main reasons bloodborne pathogen training is essential for your restaurant staff.
What is a Bloodborne Pathogen?
I know you’re asking yourself, “what is a bloodborne pathogen?” Let’s break it down as it’s actually a combination of two different words.
Bloodborne means something transmitted or carried by the blood.
The definition of a pathogen is a virus, bacterium or any other microorganism capable of causing disease.
So put those two together and we have a disease-causing organism that can be transmitted via human blood.
Still unsure of this definition? Worry no more. You’ll get a deeper understanding of this term after undertaking a bloodborne pathogen training course.
How do pathogens end up in my restaurant?
Are you worried about if, and why your restaurant should receive bloodborne pathogens training?
We agree, this sounds a lot like a hospital talk, but bloodborne pathogen training is essential for your restaurant and catering staff.
No restaurant is complete without commercial slicers, knives, blenders, crushers, and graters. Everyday life in a busy restaurant or catering workplace inevitably involves slips, falls and broken glass.
There are high chances for these workplace hazards to result in exposure to blood.
Mostly, blood exposure results from abrasions and cuts. Other sources of potential exposure include the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, and nose.
In fact, OSHA is now paying particular attention to young worker safety in restaurants where there are potential exposure hazards.
In some cases, human bites have been known to occur in dining establishments! Of course, this is extremely rare, but it is unusual to come across a restaurant without frequent cases of minor wounds occurring in the line of duty.
So it should be clear why your restaurant staff requires bloodborne pathogen certification training.
The Most Common Carriers Of Bloodborne Pathogens
This may shock you, but if you have recovered from a particular disease, but you still carry the bacteria in your body, then you’re referred to as a carrier. This means you put anyone who comes in contact with you at risk of infection.
Bloodborne pathogens cause three common and serious diseases which include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
No one in their right mind wants to deliberately infect another person with a disease, but some people infect others simply because they don’t think.
There are multiple stories about patients scratching or biting a caregiver, using compromised equipment and even infected blood. Although these types of exposure incident are rare and may have been accidental or at least inadvertent, it doesn’t change the result.
To use restaurant staff as an example, we don’t come usually anticipate a single incident where they interact with scratchers and biters. However, wiping up blood from countertops and floors whenever someone gets cut is an extremely common exposure, so we do need to take the specific industry into account when assessing risk.
Restaurant staff also risk exposure whenever they come into contact with blood while helping a customer or co-worker who gets hurt.
With the correct OSHA bloodborne pathogens certification and training, the restaurant staff would know the best practices to put in place and are in a position of ensuring safety for any individual who enters the restaurant.
Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Is Not An Option
Bloodborne pathogen certification is not an option, but you won’t get arrested for not providing it to your restaurant staff. However, OSHA has some essential information for you.
For some industries, OSHA bloodborne pathogen certification is a mandatory activity, meaning that failure to provide this training can cause issues with OSHA including hefty fines and potentially shutting your business down for non-compliance issues.
Although the level of risk of exposure to blood is less in the case of restaurant workers than healthcare workers, it is essential for your restaurant staff to receive this certification.
All employers need to work toward improving general health and safety standards.
Benefits Of Bloodborne Pathogen Training To Employees
An online course format can be best option. Most staff prefers working through a training program at their own pace, and managers appreciate not having to allocate a fixed training schedule to the whole team at the same time potentially causing disruptions to service or production.
After undertaking bloodborne pathogen training restaurant, catering or hospitality staff should have a deeper understanding of bloodborne pathogens, how dangerous they are, and the validity of the protective measures.
Through bloodborne pathogen training, you’ll be in a position of differentiating between reactive and proactive employees.
To define this a bit further, a reactive employee is far more likely to panic whenever they see blood, and this could result in poor decision making. These employees may make the mistake of touching a cleaning cloth or contaminated knife with bare hands.
In contrast, post training you will find more proactive employees, these are the individuals who know the main reason for wearing gloves whenever handling blood or any other body fluid.
The primary aim of bloodborne pathogen training is to equip staff with the necessary knowledge to be in a position of preventing potentially deadly diseases that results from exposure to blood while working on daily tasks.
When and where should BBP Training be taken?
It is an OSHA requirement that Bloodborne Pathogens Training be completed on an annual basis to ensure the most current and safe standards are applied.
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