Bloodborne pathogens are defined as microorganisms in the blood or other body fluids that can cause illness and disease. Safety training for bloodborne pathogen risk is imperative and can significantly reduce injury and illness costs.
Bloodborne pathogen exposure can result from cuts or puncture wounds caused by sharp objects, such as blades, needles or knives. There is also risk of exposure in a situation where blood or body fluid is splashed on open cuts or mucous membranes. The most common diseases caused by exposure are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People who carry bloodborne pathogens may not be aware that they are infected with a disease.
OSHA has a policy designed to limit exposure to blood and other bodily fluids in the workplace. Compliance with the standard requires employers to meet these criteria with a bloodborne pathogen training. This can include the Hepatitis B vaccination for those with the potential for exposure as well as exposure mitigation planning, a personal protection equipment plan and an annual refresher training. Training can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.