Bloodborne Pathogens English 2017

Bloodborne Pathogens Training Online

Welcome to's OSHA Compliant Training Course!

This course was developed for the purpose of educating any person(s) within professions that fall under OSHA's description of occupational exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens (i.e., reasonable anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that may result from the performance of the employee's duties).

Examples include but are not limited to:
Medicine, Nursing, Healthcare science, Dentistry, Healthcare professions, Pharmacy, Housekeeping personnel, Tattoo artists, First aid providers, Embalmers, Crematory or Cemetery workers who might face exposure, Government workers, Law enforcement, fire fighters, EMTs, First responders and more.

Topics Covered:
  • Where to find an accessible copy of the regulatory text of OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen standard along with an explanation of its contents.
  • A general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of blood borne diseases.
  • An explanation of the modes of transmission of blood borne pathogens.
  • An explanation of the employer's exposure control plan and the means by which the employee can obtain a written copy of the plan.
  • An explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials
  • An explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure including appropriate engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment.
  • Information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of personal protective equipment.
  • An explanation of the basis for selection of personal protective equipment.
  • Information of the hepatitis B vaccine, including information on it efficacy, safety, method of administration, the benefits of being vaccinated, and that the vaccine and vaccination will be offered free of charge.
  • Information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  • An explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available.
  • Information on the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up that the employer is required to provide for the employee following an exposure incident.
  • An explanation of the signs and labels and/or color coding required by paragraph (g)(1) of OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard.

Legal Information
On December 6, 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated the Bloodborne Pathogens standard. This standard is designed to protect workers from the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). The standard was revised by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000. This act set forth in greater detail (and made more specific) OSHA's requirement for employers to identify, evaluate and implement safer medical devices. The Act also mandated additional requirements for maintaining a sharps injury log and for the involvement of non-managerial healthcare workers in evaluating and choosing devices. These workers must be responsible for direct patient care and be potentially exposed to injuries from contaminated sharps. 

Where can you obtain a copy of the regulatory text of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard and an explanation of its contents?
OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen standard
Section 1910.1030(g)(2)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogens standard states: "The employer shall institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program."

What are Bloodborne Pathogens?
Blood borne Pathogens are Pathogenic Microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans.

  • Blood borne (carried or transmitted by the blood).
  • Pathogenic (capable of producing disease).
  • Microorganisms (Microscopic, too small to be seen by the human eye. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites are examples of microorganisms).

What are the most common bloodborne pathogens?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is classified as a lentivirus (slowly replicating retrovirus) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Common methods of infection with HIV occur by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. There is no effective HIV vaccine available. Management of HIV/AIDS normally includes the use of multiple antiretroviral drugs in an attempt to control HIV infection. Currently, no cure for HIV/AIDS exists.

Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory illness of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Common symptoms include: Loss of appetite, Clay-colored bowel movements, Dark urine, Fever, Fatigue, Abdominal pain, Jaundice, Nausea, and Vomiting. HBV is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids. Other transmission risks include; working in a healthcare setting, transfusion, dialysis, acupuncture, tattooing, and sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person. A vaccine is currently available for HBV. HBV does not usually require treatment because most adults clear the infection spontaneously. Chronically infected individuals are candidates for therapy and treatment lasts from six months to one year, depending on medication and genotype. Although none of the available drugs can clear the infection, they can stop the virus from replicating, thus minimizing liver damage.

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Chronic infection can cause scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis which in some cases can cause liver failure, liver cancer or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C but this persistent infection can be treated with medication.

How are Blood borne pathogens transmitted?
Blood borne pathogens are transmitted when an individual's mucous membranes, cut, or non intact skin comes in direct contact with blood or OPIM (other potentially infectious materials).

What are examples of OPIM?
  • Any body fluid that can be visibly confirmed as being contaminated with blood.
  • Any body fluid found in situations that make it difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids.
  • Any unfixed tissue or organ from human alive or dead.
  • Cells or tissue cultures containing HIV.
  • Blood, organs, cells, tissues, or tissue cultures from a human or experimental animal containing HIV or HBV.
  • Semen (The male reproductive fluid).
  • Vaginal secretions (discharge of secretions from the cervical glands of the vagina).
  • Saliva (Watery liquid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands).
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (a clear, colorless liquid that bathes the brain and spinal cord).
  • Pleural fluid (excess fluid that accumulates between the two pleural layers, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs).
  • Synovial fluid (a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints).
  • Pericardial fluid (a sac that consist of two membranes that surround the heart).
  • Peritoneal fluid (is a liquid that is made in the abdominal cavity to lubricate the surface of the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and pelvic cavity and covers most of the organs in the abdomen).
  • Amniotic fluid (the protective liquid contained by the amniotic sac found within the uterus of a pregnant female).
  • Tattoo needles, medical devices, dental equipment, contaminated surfaces, waste containers, sharps containers, etc.

What is an exposure control plan?
An exposure control plan is a written plan to eliminate or minimize occupational exposures.
Ask your employer for a copy of the exposure control plan along with an explanation of its contents.

What elements should an exposure plan consist of?
  • An Exposure control plan should be updated constantly or at minimum annually to reflect changes in job duties and procedures for existing and new employees or job positions.
  • Annually updated documentation demonstrating evaluation and implementation of current industry standard in safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure.
  • Work site specific information containing; rules, procedures, and post exposure plans.
  • Methods of compliance, universal precautions observed to prevent the contact of blood and OPIM.
  • Proper procedure for evaluating exposure incidents as per requirements fond within OSHA's Bloodborne pathogens standard section 1910.1030(f)(3)(i)
  • Exposure determination that classifies all or some employees as well as all job classification areas and levels of occupational exposure, and lists all individual group tasks and procedures that can be classified as occupational exposure.
  • Documented information obtained from non-managerial employees with patient care job duties that potentially expose them to injuries from contaminated sharps in the identification, evaluation, and selection of effective engineering and work practice controls.
  • Annually updated documentation demonstrating evaluation and implementation of current industry standard in safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure.

What are the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and other activities that may involve occupational exposure to blood and OPIM?
Refer back to section 1910.1030(b) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard which states "Occupational Exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties."

What types of methods can be used to reduce exposure to Blood and OPIM?
  • Implementing and use of your site specific exposure control plan
  • Implementing the use of universal precautions (treating all human blood and OPIM as if it has been contaminated with infectious bloodborne pathogens).
  • Implementing the use of Work practice controls to change the way in which a specific job task is performed. These should mimic OSHA's universal precautions.
  • Implementation and use of Engineering controls that isolate or remove bloodborne pathogen hazards from the work place through the use of sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, and safer medical devices, such as sharps with engineered sharps injury protections and needleless systems.
  • The use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment). Personal protective equipment is considered "appropriate" only if it prevents blood or OPIM from passing through to or reaching the employee's undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under typical work conditions.
  • All engineering controls should be examined, maintained or replaced regularly to ensure their effectiveness.

It is your employer's responsibility to provide all employees with occupational exposure hand washing facilities which are readily accessible. If in the event a particular facility cannot feasibly provide provisions for hand washing facilities, clean cloth/paper towels and or antiseptic, towlettes must be provided by the employer. One should always wash their hands with soap and running water whenever possible.
Any time you come in contact with blood or OPIM, you should promptly wash your hands and any other part of your skin with soap and running water.
All contaminated needles must never be bent, recapped, or removed unless an employer can demonstrate that there is no other method available or that it is required by a specific medical or dental procedures.
If bending, recapping or needle removal methods are used, it must be accomplished by means of mechanical device techniques.
Any reusable contaminated sharps must be immediately placed in containers until properly reprocessed. These containers have to be puncture resistant, leak proof on the sides and bottom, labeled or color coded and meet all requirements as per section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard.
You should never eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics, lip balm, or handle eye contact lenses near anything that could possibly be infected with bloodborne pathogens.
You should never store food in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or on countertops where potentially infectious materials are present.
Any task or procedure you perform that involves blood or OPIM must be done in a manner that minimizes or eliminates splashing, spraying, spattering, or generating of droplets of these substances.
Emptying waste containers have a number of hidden hazards so never use your hands to compress the trash bags. Always handle bags from the top and carry away from your body.

What is Personal protective equipment (PPE)?
PPE is specialized clothing or equipment an employee with occupational exposure wears to guard against hazards. Normal work and street clothing are not recognized PPE. PPE is designed to protect against a number of different hazards and should be selected according to the degree of exposure anticipated. PPE is only deemed appropriate if it is sized properly and prevent blood and OPIM to pass through or to reach an employee's work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or mucous membranes during normal work schedules and condition. Examples are but not limited to:
  • Gloves/Hypoallergenic if needed due to allergies
  • gowns
  • face shields
  • masks
  • eye protection
  • resuscitation bags
  • mouth pieces

The employer must enforce use of appropriate PPE wherever occupational exposure exists. The only exception to this requires documenting of the rare occurrence an employee temporarily declined use of the provided PPE to prevent further hazard or to properly execute a task or procedure involving health care or public safety services. Following this rare occurrence, the documentation must be evaluated in order to find solutions to prevent the repeat of a similar occurrence.
PPE must be cleaned, laundered, disposed, maintained, repaired, or replaced to ensure its effectiveness. This is to be the responsibility of the employer and done at no cost to the employee.
If at any time your garment(s) is penetrated by blood or other potentially infectious materials, remove it immediately or as soon as possible.
Before leaving your work area, always remove all PPE and place them in designated areas.
When you use Disposal (single use) gloves, always replace them as soon as possible when they have become contaminated or compromised by a tear or puncture.
Never reuse disposable (single use) gloves. You may decontaminate utility gloves for re-use provided they do not exhibit any signs of compromise such as cracks, peeling, tears or punctures in which case they must be discarded.

What is the Hepatitis B vaccine?
The Hepatitis B vaccine is a safe way to guard against the infection of the Hepatitis B virus. The vaccine is an injection that assists the body in producing antibodies to protect against the virus. The vaccine is made up of one of the viral envelope proteins, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). It is produced by yeast cells, into which the genetic code for BHsAg has been inserted. The vaccine is administered in 2-3 injections, the second injection given after one month, and the third to be given after six months. The first and second injections provide complete protection from the virus. The final injection, be it the second or the third, provides an immune system antibody in the blood stream ensuring lengthened protection. Section 1910.1030(f)(2)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard states that "Hepatitis B vaccination shall be made available after the employee has received the training required in section 1910.1030(g)(2)(xii)(I) of the same standard and within 10 working days of initial assignment to all employees who have occupational exposure unless the employee has previously received the complete hepatitis B vaccination series, antibody testing has revealed that the employee is immune, or the vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons."

What to do in an emergency involving Blood or OPIM?
Follow your exposure control plan.
Decontaminate immediately by thoroughly washing the infected area with soap and water for 15 minutes including underneath finger nails if exposed.
If you have eye of mouth exposure, rinse with water or saline drops for five minutes; otherwise wash the exposed area with soap and water for five minutes.
Report to your supervisor.
See a doctor for medical evaluation/treatment.
Complete an exposure incident report with your employer that should entail the documented circumstances that led to the exposure incident and the identification and documentation of the source individual unless your employer can prove that it is infeasible or prohibited by state law.
After you and your employer have completed the exposure incident report, you are entitled to a confidential medical evaluation and follow up at the expense of your employer.

House keeping
Always ensure that your workplace is clean and sanitary to prevent contamination.
Ask your employer for your cleaning maintenance schedules, and decontamination procedures specific to your workplace environment.
Make sure that when sanitizing contaminated areas the appropriate disinfectant is used.
Always clean a contaminated workplace surface as soon as possible.
Disposable protective coverings should be replaced as soon as possible or at minimum the end of each work shift.
All reusable containers exposed to blood or OPIM should be decontaminated regularly or as soon as possible.
Never pick up glass with your hands. Use a broom and dust pan, tongs or forceps.
Never store contaminated reusable sharps in containers that require you to reach in by hand.

Waste regulation
Dispose of contaminated sharps as soon as possible.
All containers intended for the purpose of handling, storing, transport, or disposal of contaminated sharps must be constructed in the following manner:
Puncture resistant
Leak-proof on sides and bottom
Labeled or color coded as per section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard

Contaminated sharps containers should be easy to access and as close to your work station as can be.
Contaminated sharps containers must be maintained or replaced in order to prevent overfilling, spillage or protrusion.
Contaminated sharps containers must be transported in secondary containers that are; leak-proof, labeled, and color coded in accordance with section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogens standard.
Reusable waste containers must never be opened or cleaned when the threat of exposure to you or your coworker is present.
Reusable waste containers must be closed prior to removal to prevent spillage or protrusion of contents during handling, storage, transport, or shipping.
Waste containers that have been contaminated on the outside must be placed into a secondary container that meets the requirements found in section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard.
All disposal of regulated waste must be done in accordance with United Sates, States and Territories, and political subdivisions of States and Territories.

All contaminated laundry must be handled in the following manner:
Always handle small amounts to minimize agitation.
Place in containers or bags at your work station.
Never rinse or sort at your work station.
Contaminated laundry bags should be labeled and color coded in accordance with section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard.
Always transport contaminated laundry that is wet in leak proof containers.
Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when in contact with contaminated laundry.

Hazardous container Labels and Signs
Any containers, refrigerators, or freezers used to store, ship, or transport blood or OPIM must have warning labels that are in accordance with section 1910.1030(g)(1)(i) of OSHA's Bloodborne pathogen standard.

The warning labels must be fluorescent orange or orange-red with contrasting lettering and symbols.
Labels may be affixed by means of; adhesive, wire, string, or any other method that prevents removal or ability to be seen.
Any containers for blood, blood components, or blood products that are labeled as such are exempt from the hazard label requirements.
Individual containers housing blood or OPIM that are placed into labeled containers are exempt from these hazard label requirements.
All contaminated equipment must be labeled and state all contaminated portions of the equipment.
Regulated waste that has been decontaminated is exempt from labeling.
The employer is responsible for posting signs at all work areas that occupational exposure is present.
Warning labels must include;
-Name of the Infectious Agent
-Special requirements for entering the area
-Name, telephone number of the laboratory director or other responsible persons.
These signs shall be fluorescent orange-red or predominantly so with lettering and symbols in a contrasting color.

Congratulations! You have completed training and may now proceed to testing.



"Thanks for the fast service! I needed my certification before I could begin my new job. I was able to complete the test and print my certificate in time to start work Monday morning." Janet F., Orlando, FL.



"Over 200 employees throughout our offices are required to complete Blood borne Pathogen Certification annually. Employee availability and scheduling conflicts made it nearly impossible to schedule an onsite class. We were pleased to learn that our OSHA requirements can be satisfied online. Looking forward to the ease of use next year." Mary M., Cardinal Health


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