Did you know that Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can be found in human blood that cause diseases, including hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Workers in many industries from first responders and police officers to personal caregivers and nurses are all at risk of coming into contact with bloodborne pathogens on the job. While there is no guarantee that coming into contact with a bloodborne pathogen will result in an infection, exposure puts one at risk. For this reason, ensuring workers are safe is vital, and the best way to do this is by providing workers in high-risk occupations with training on this important topic.
How might workers be exposed?
OSHA guidelines on bloodborne pathogens apply to any employee who can anticipate exposure to bloodborne pathogens or pathogens carried through other potentially infectious materials (e.g., mucous, saliva or semen) on the job. With numerous ways workers can be exposed to bloodborne pathogens or infectious diseases, here are just a few examples:
- Getting stuck by a needle or “sharp” that has infected blood or fluid on it
- Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching contaminated materials
- Inhaling droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
How can occupational exposures be prevented?
In retail, warehouses, and medical centers, and more there are hidden hazards most people don’t expect: bloodborne pathogens. So, when it comes to workplace safety training, few topics are as important as providing your employees with bloodborne pathogens training to prevent the spread of infectious bloodborne diseases. While many different occupations have some risk of exposure like healthcare and first responders, there are other less obvious occupations that have some risk too. Some steps you can take to remain safe if such a situation presents itself in the workplace and prevent infection are:
- Emphasize hand-washing.
- Use CPR breathing equipment including resuscitation masks when giving ventilation (rescue breaths).
- Avoid contact with bodily fluids and blood.
- Cover up sores, cuts and scrapes, removing rings and other jewelry before donning protective gloves. Other protective coverings are also recommended as blood or body fluid can splash easily- this includes eyewear, gowns and masks.
- Change out protective gear before attending to a separate victim.
- Remove protective gear without contacting soiled areas, dispose carefully in proper containers.
Why is bloodborn pathogen training important?
As we all know, situations and work environments can change over time. Providing bloodborne pathogen training can feel overwhelming but at CPR Experts, safety is our top priority. Most of all, being proactive, understanding the current risks employees face, and developing plans to mitigate those risks will foster a safe and supportive workplace. In order for us to keep your employees safe, happy, and comfortable, it’s essential to understand all the requirements for avoiding specific incidents and health risks, especially when it comes to bloodborne pathogens. For most facilities, a bloodborne pathogens training will meet the facility’s needs. To learn more about our bloodborne pathogen training, what procedures could lead to exposure and proper hygiene and sterilization techniques to use, contact us today to ensure high-quality training to all your employees.