Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are viruses that can be present in blood or in “Other Potentially Infectious Material” and cause serious diseases. HIV, Hepatitis B and C are the main viruses of concern.
“Other Potentially Infectious Material” might include any body fluids visibly contaminated with blood among many others.
Bloodborne pathogens can enter your body by:
- A break in the skin (cut, lesion)
- Mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth)
Job duties that can have BBP exposure
- Picking up discarded syringes in public places
- Providing first aid treatment
- Cleaning up broken containers containing blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”
Safe work practices
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or lip balm, or handle contact lenses in any work areas where there is the possibility of exposure to blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”
- Don’t place food or drink in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets, countertops or bench tops in any other work areas where blood or OPIM is located
- Don’t handle discarded syringes with bare hands
What to do if you are exposed to blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”
- Wash needlesticks, cuts, and skin with soap and water
- Flush/splashes to the nose and mouth with water
- Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or a sterile irrigant
- Report exposure to your supervisor
- Schedule visit to doctor as soon as possible
Develop a BBP exposure control plan
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Employees should always wear PPE when they may be exposed to infectious or potentially infectious materials
- Always inspect PPE for cracks, holes or other damage. Never use damaged or contaminated PPE
- Contaminated PPE shall be removed immediately and placed in an approved container.
(PPE examples include eye goggles, face shields, gloves, aprons, etc.)
Let’s be safe out there!
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