OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard is the federal standard aiming to protect employees by mandating who needs blaoodborne pathogens training. This covers most employees who may get exposed to blood or any other potentially infectious materials.
So every employer has a duty to ensure that any worker who may get exposed while working on their daily tasks receives proper OSHA bloodborne pathogen training. But who are the right candidates for bloodborne pathogens training?
Which Workers Need Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
Bloodborne pathogen training is non-optional for many staff. For instance, healthcare workers, physicians, firemen, nurses, medical students, police officers, teachers, body artists, school staff, emergency responders, paramedics, janitorial staff, and many more.
Other workers who qualify for bloodborne pathogens training include:
- Janitors and housekeepers,
- workers that play an essential role at healthcare facilities,
- workers responsible for providing medical care and medical research,
- healthcare services including laboratory technicians, doctors, dentists, nurses, and others.
As we mentioned bloodborne pathogen training is essential for workers who are first responders and employees who provide first aid as their main duty.
Additionally, those employees who clean and decontaminate surfaces of blood or any other potentially infectious materials must take a bloodborne pathogen course.
When To Enroll Staff For Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Employers should ensure that their workers receive bloodborne pathogens training before they start working around blood or OPIM, and annually thereafter.
Employers must additionally ensure that the employees receive training whenever there is a modification of previous procedures or tasks and whenever there is an addition of new jobs or tasks that may cause exposure risk.
Nowadays, online training solutions have made the bloodborne pathogens training procedure more streamlined and effective.
Therefore, online training may be the best option for employees since it allows them to choose a convenient time for learning.
Depending on their schedule, they start or stop anytime they wish.
Also, there is no limitation on the training location. The employees can log in from any location, be it from an office or home without having to travel.
The flexibility of online training is often a good fit for both the organization and the employee since it doesn’t interfere with the work schedule.
Minimum Standards for Bloodborne Pathogen Training
The best bloodborne pathogen training should take into account the education level, language proficiency, and technological literacy of the employee. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but what we are trying to get at is the training should be at a level that’s easily comprehended and retained by the employee and should take into account best practices for different types of learning delivery, for instance, online training VS instructor-led training.
Bloodborne pathogen training should always contain these components and information.
Bloodborne Diseases Information
Information about the most common bloodborne diseases including AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.
Bloodborne Pathogens Transmission Information
Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted whenever there is a contact between blood, mucous membranes or broken skin of an infected person or via a cut from a contaminated object. Therefore, proper training covers all the possible channels of transmission on a worksite.
A Definition of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
OSHA bloodborne pathogens training must define the standard including who is covered and who is not covered by the OSHA standard.
Information Concerning Exposure Control Plans
Having the exposure control plan in written form is essential by the employees, and they must make it accessible to all workers.
Information Concerning Personal Protective Equipment
It is essential for employees to get information concerning various personal protective equipment needed for use in the minimization of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Necessary Steps To Take After An Exposure
Employees must learn what to do next after exposure or expected exposure to blood or any other potentially infectious material.
Elements Of An Exposure Control Plan
An exposure control plan refers to a written framework aimng at protecting workers from bloodborne pathogens. It is one of the mandatory OSHA compliance requirements that entails:
- Record keeping as per the requirements of OSHA. They include sharps-injury, medical, training, and incident records. Every employer must manage and maintain all these records
- Departments, names, and tasks of each employee who’s at risk of bloodborne pathogen exposure.
- Post-exposure administration by evaluating all the circumstances surrounding the respective incident.
- Updating employees about bloodborne pathogens, symptoms of bloodborne diseases, and their mode of transmission. Also, workers can ask questions and seek clarifications.
- Implementation and control methods to help to minimize the risk of exposure, which also entails labeling equipment properly and providing workers with personal protective equipment
- Administration of Hepatitis B vaccine to all employees with exposure risk. Here, it is essential to ensure that all your workers who are entitled to receive a free Hepatitis B vaccination are offered. For those workers who choose to opt out, they should sign a waiver document.
- Medical evaluation and regular follow-ups following an exposure including documenting the exposure process, testing for infection, and collecting samples of blood for further testing.
An Employer Must Know which Workers Need Bloodborne Pathogen Training
It is up to the employer to determine the employees who need Bloodborne Pathogens Training.
The employer can accomplish this by checking if a particular job entails any occupational exposure.
Are you a worker who is at risk of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials and you have not received bloodborne pathogens training? So take the right step and contact your supervisor today and keep them informed that you need bloodborne pathogens training as soon as possible.