Bloodborn Pathogen Safety
Bloodborn pathogen safety is extremely important in many different workplaces, especially for employees who work in the health care industries. Bloodborn pathogens are infectious bacteria that exist in the blood stream. This infectious bacterium can cause many serious and sometimes deadly diseases such as hepatitis b, hepatitis C, and even HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. There are many other disease that are caused by bloodborn pathogens but these are the most common types. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have many different types of standards when it comes to dealing with bloodborn pathogen safety in the workplace. There are many precautions that employers must take to make sure their employees are not being exposed to blood that could contain this infectious bacterium. Not only can blood contain bloodborn pathogens but also other bacteria that can cause infection in humans. So, the proper precautions must always be taken.
One of OSHA’s most important standards is an exposure control plan. The point of this plan is to try to keep employees exposure as small as possible. Employers should always be trying to improve on their exposure control plan. Each year the plan must be up dated to include new tools and items that have been invented to help prevent the spread of bloodborn pathogens. The plan must talk about what new items the employer is using and the different items they have considered bringing into the workplace.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration the next step in ensuring a good bloodborn pathogen program is engineering controls. Engineering controls are different types of devices that employers and employees use to help to lessen the spread of this infectious bacterium in the workplace. There are many different types of engineering controls that can be used in a workplace. These engineering controls consist of secure sharp item disposal, blunted needles, and systems that don’t use needles.
Practice controls are also another important part of any Boodborn Pathogen Safety program. The point of practice controls are to help prevent the spread of pathogens through safe practices done by employers and employees alike. Many times this includes changing the way certain procedures are done, to lessen risk. Some types of practice controls that OSHA recommends companies to use are proper hand washing procedures, proper laundry cleaning, and proper disposal of contaminated materials.
As with all types of industry, the correct protective gear must be supplied by the employer. A few types of protective gear that must be supplied are gloves, gowns, and face masks. It is also up to the employer to replace these items, when they need to be replaced.
A standard that cannot be over looked deals with follow up after an employee has been exposed to bloodborn pathogens. All cost for a medical exam is to be paid by the employer. Once an employee has been exposed to infectious bacteria, there are many test they must undergo including testing of employees blood, post exposure prophylaxis, and counseling if needed.
When dealing with bloodborn pathogen safety signs and safety posters must always be used. Signs and posters have to be used when an area is restricted because of infectious bacteria. Disposal containers for needles and waste that could be contaminated, most also be labeled correctly. If blood is being stored, where every it is being stored must also be signed and labeled correctly.
Training is one of the most important steps in bloodborn pathogen safety. There are many things that most be covered in this safety program. Training must be given on a regular bases. Training must cover the hazards that exist when working with bloodborn pathogens. Training has to teach employees tactics on how to prevent the spread of pathogens and it also has to consist of what to do if an employee comes in contact with bloodborn pathogens. First comes the initial training for each employee and once a year retraining must take place.
Bloodborn pathogen safety saves many lives every year. When employees are working around blood and other bodily fluids it is important that many precautions are taken. Many diseases can be transferred through blood including HIV. Employees must always be protected, to help prevent accidents.