Bloodborne Pathogens laws & safety compliance analysis

Bloodborne Pathogens: What you need to know

The federal Bloodborne Pathogens standard requires employers to eliminate, or at least minimize, the hazards of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs). Employees face a significant health risk as the result of occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM). OPIM can contain BBPs such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) which causes hepatitis B, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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The standard requires employers of employees with a risk of occupational exposure to blood or OPIM to develop a written Exposure Control Plan (ECP). In addition, such employers must implement a combination of safety measures including engineering and work practice controls, provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), employee training, and offer potentially exposed workers the vaccination against hepatitis B.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers and enforces the bloodborne pathogens standard for all private sector employers except in states with an OSHA-approved occupational safety and health regulatory program.

29 CFR 1910.1030(a) and (b)

The bloodborne pathogens standard applies to any organization covered by OSHA where one or more employees have occupational exposure to blood or OPIM. It is the employer's responsibility to determine which job classifications or specific tasks and procedures involve occupational exposure. See the Definitions section in this topic for the definition of occupational exposure.

Following is a non-exhaustive list of job classifications or tasks that qualify as occupational exposure to blood or OPIM and ...

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