OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards
This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: April 2012
The OSHA “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens” (29 CFR Part 1910.1030) is applicable to employees with exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials. The standard defines an “occupational exposure” as 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. “Other potentially infectious materials” include semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, unfixed human tissue or organs, and cell cultures containing HIV or HBV. The standard is summarized below.
- Employers must write an “Exposure Control Plan” designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposures and must provide a copy to covered employees.
- Employers must identify job classifications in which employees have occupational exposures.
- “Standard (Universal) Precautions” are to be utilized in the handling of all specimens.
- Engineering and work practice controls and personal protective equipment are to be used to eliminate or minimize employee exposures.
- Hepatitis B vaccine is to be offered to all employees with occupational exposures.
- Post-exposure medical evaluation and follow-up is to be provided for employees with occupational exposures;
- Annual training must be provided for all employees with occupational exposures.
- HBV and HIV research laboratories and production facilities are to provide additional training and engineering controls and work practices.