OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard: What You Need to Know

For EMS and other healthcare professionals, accidental exposure to bloodborne pathogens is a constant risk.

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in the blood. They can cause diseases like hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Employees who become exposed to these pathogens are at risk.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides protection through the guidance contained in its OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.

Employers can find the requirements in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 29 CFR 1910.1030.

These requirements let employers know what they must do to protect their workers. These workers are those exposed to blood or other infectious materials (OPIM).

Next, is an overview of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and your responsibilities as an employer.

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Employer Responsibilities Under the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires employers to establish, update, and implement a plan to reduce occupational exposure.

Establishing an Exposure Control Plan

A crucial part of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard is the bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan, which is a written plan.

The purpose is to minimize or eliminate occupational exposure. As an employer, you must prepare this plan.

This plan must contain a list of your employees’ job classifications who have potential occupational exposure. Further,