OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training – Keeping Your Staff BBP Certified
Until 1992, 9,000 people suffered preventable bloodborne infections every year. Could proper OSHA bloodborne pathogens training have prevented many of those infections? It’s very likely.
OSHA enacted the Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard in 1992 to reduce the number of bloodborne infections and deaths that occurred each year among people exposed to them at their job.
The BBP standard requires employers to check a long list of boxes, including developing an exposure plan, implementing standard precautions, and providing personal protective equipment.
It also mandates the use of bloodborne pathogen training for all relevant employees.
Are you in need of an OSHA bloodborne pathogens training program? There’s plenty of courses available, so we’re here to show you how to sift through the pile to find your best options.
Three Types of OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training
In addition to providing accessible education, you must also provide initial, additional, and annual training to keep employees up-to-date.
What does that mean? You must train every new employee or volunteer before they begin work.
You must also provide training when new or supplementary information becomes available.
Finally, OSHA requires annual training for all employees regardless of their training or education background.
Topics OSHA BBP Training Must Cover
The ultimate goal of OSHA bloodborne pathogens training isn’t to check a box – it’s to keep your employees safe. To meet that goal, you need a comprehensive training system that covers the essential topics.
What should you find in your bloodborne pathogens course? Here’s a short overview.
Every OSHA bloodborne pathogens training program should start with the basics. It’s best to choose a training program that assumes the trainee has zero knowledge about the subject.
Be sure your training explains:
- Bloodborne Pathogen Standard 1910.1030
- A brief description of bloodborne diseases
- Transmission of bloodborne pathogens
- State and employer’s exposure control plan requirements
These four topics provide a baseline understanding related to why the training is necessary and the basic dangers of handling needles or encountering blood.
Bloodborne Exposure: What It Is and How to Prevent It
What is bloodborne exposure? Don’t assume new hires or volunteers know. The general explanation should occur early in training. Once provided, trainees need to learn what it means in their field.
You’ll cover subjects like:
- Risks of exposure
- Explain how to prevent or reduce the risk of exposure
- Understand the limitation of prevention and reduction methods
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to use it (selection, use, finding it, handling, and disposal)
By the end of the section, your team should be able to identify tasks where they risk exposure and what to do to minimize both exposure and the transmission of bloodborne diseases.
What to Do in Case of Exposure
Your team needs to know what to do in case of exposure. The training should cover essential things like:
- Appropriate actions
- Who to call
- Hepatitis B vaccinations and related information
You’ll also train your employees on your organization’s exposure control plan. Don’t forget to show them where to find the plan when they need it.
Reporting Bloodborne Exposure
The only inevitable occurrence in bloodborne exposure is the paperwork. Your training system must include details about evaluation and procedures to follow after an exposure.
It should cover:
- Reporting procedure
- Post-exposure evaluation
- Post-exposure medical follow-up
- Post-exposure follow up
Reporting procedures are important because they help track exposure and disease as well as assess how well preventative measures work.
Other Training Requirements
OSHA bloodborne pathogens training doesn’t dictate much more regarding content or requirements. This gives your organization the freedom to find the training that works best for your industry and team.
You’re free to use online or offline training as you wish as long as it includes the ability to interact with an instructor. OSHA makes this mandatory, and it benefits you and your trainees by providing a way to have questions answered. This can be as simple as live chat or email interactivity.
The final choice facing employers is whether to host online or live training.
Virtual vs. Live OSHA Training
OSHA doesn’t specify whether OSHA bloodborne pathogens training should take place as virtual training or in hands-on labs. That leaves it up to you decide what works best for your training population.
You’ll want to consider issues like:
- Technology available
- Technological literacy
- Shifts, scheduling, and production time
- Location of the training population
- Languages spoken by the training population
Online OSHA bloodborne pathogens training works well for bloodborne pathogen training because OSHA doesn’t mandate hands-on training. Although emergency medical services or healthcare workers will benefit from hands-on labs, general workplace requirements may not need them.
Additionally, online training allows you to scale quickly without interrupting production schedules. The flexibility offered is essential for some industries because OSHA requires training to occur during regular shift times.
Still, if you don’t meet the technological requirements to train large groups or your team is not technology literate, classroom training may work out best.
Your Training Checklist
We covered a lot of ground quickly, so we put together a training checklist to help you choose the right training program based on your organizational needs.
Here are the five essential items you need from a quality training provider:
- OSHA-aligned courses
- Offer initial, supplemental, and annual training
- Cover all the essential topics
- Provide ability to contact an instructor
- Meets organizational schedule, language, and technology needs
If you can find a training program that ticks all these boxes, then you have almost certainly found a winner.
Train Your Staff Annually
Whatever mode you choose, make sure that your training population receives OSHA bloodborne pathogens training at least once a year.
Are you interested in using online training?
Check our simple to use training solutions and certify your staff today!