Blood Borne Pathogens
The purpose of this training is to reduce or eliminate occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.
Rules and Regulations
Office of Risk Management (ORM) Requirements – requires the university to develop a bloodborne pathogens plan. Also, it is required that the university provides training to all employees once every five years. High risk employees must be trained annually.
University Bloodborne Pathogens Plan – is updated and available to all employees in the online safety manual and a hard copy is available in each department.
What are Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)
Pathogens are any disease-producing microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria. Those which are carried in the blood or in other potentially infectious materials are considered bloodborne.
Why do YOU need Blood Borne Pathogens Training?
- To protect your health and that of other employees.
- To gain a basic understanding of BBP, common modes of transmission, and methods of prevention.
- The State, via The Office of Risk Management (ORM), requires it.
All State of Louisiana employees are required to be trained on their agency-specific Bloodborne Pathogen Plan within the first 90 days of employment and every five years thereafter. However, if you have been identified as a high risk employee, you must have agency-specific training annually. One is considered a high risk employee if they can reasonably anticipate having contact with blood or other potentially infectious material as part of their regular job duties.
HIV – The virus that causes the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Hepatitis B – An infection of the liver. It is transmitted by contaminated blood or blood derivatives in transfusions, by sexual contact with an infected person, or by the use of contaminated needles and instruments. The disease has a long incubation and symptoms that may become severe or chronic, causing serious damage to the liver. Symptoms of Hepatitis B may include: fever, joint pain, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and jaundice.
Other Potentially Infectious Materials – Semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any other fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all fluids in situations where it is difficult to differentiate body fluids.
Transmission of Blood Borne Pathogens
Blood Borne Pathogens are acquired through specific exposure incidents, and can be transmitted by both “direct” and “indirect” modes.
Direct Modes of Transmission
Blood Borne Pathogens can enter the body directly through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and via sexual contact. Also, open sores, cuts, abrasions, acne, human bites, punctures and/or broken skin are modes of transmission. Pregnant mothers can also transmit Blood Borne Pathogens to their baby at or before birth.
Indirect Modes of Transmission
- Contact with contaminated or infected needles, razors, toothbrushes, or other personal care items
- Coming into contact with a contaminated surface and then touching broken skin or mucous membranes
- Tattooing or body piercing tools
Bloodborne Pathogens can be transmitted when blood or body fluid from an infected person enters another person’s body. Any body fluid with blood is potentially infectious.
Potential High Risk Areas
University police, athletic trainers, plumbers, campus recreation staff, culinary staff and accident investigators have been designated as potential high risk areas for bloodborne exposure due to the nature of their jobs.
Universal Precautions – refers to a method of infection control in which all human body and other potentially infectious materials are treated as if known to be infected for HBV and HIV. This concept emphasizes that all people treated by faculty, staff, and students should be assumed to be infectious for HIV and other bloodborne pathogens.
Engineering Controls – is the use of available technology and devices to isolate or remove hazards to the individual.
Work Practice Controls – are alterations in the manner in which a task is performed in an effort to reduce the likelihood of an individual’s exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Employers must make available and employees must use personal protective equipment (PPE) when the possibility of exposure to blood or other infectious materials exists.
• Employees must be trained in the use of PPE.
• PPE must be accessible and clean.
• Disposable gloves must be replaced as soon as they are torn or punctured.
• Eye protection must be worn if there is a chance for a splash to occur.
• The level of protection required is dependent upon the task at hand.
Tags, Labels, and Bags
• Tags that comply with OSHA 29CFR 1910.145 (f) shall be used to identify the presence of an actual or potential biological hazard.
• Tags shall contain the word “BIOHAZARD” or the biological hazard symbol and state the specific hazardous condition or the instructions to be communicated to faculty, staff and students.
• Red bags or red containers (orange-red) may be substituted for labels on containers of infectious waste.
Proper hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective infection control measures. When possible, use antibacterial soap. Avoid harsh, abrasive soaps that may cause skin abrasions. For basic hand washing, hands should be washed thoroughly for at least 10 – 15 seconds, with vigorous friction on all surfaces (i.e., wrists, palms, back of hands, in between fingers and nail beds).
If you are working in an area where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure, you should never eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics (including lip balm), or handle contact lenses. These actions could provide a route of entry for infection.
Precautions You Can Take
• Disinfect all surfaces soiled with blood or other potential infectious materials
• Always wear gloves when cleaning areas contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials
• Be careful of sharp objects when emptying trash bins
Post Exposure Evaluation & Follow up
• Report all exposures to a supervisor and seek medical attention immediately
• Report and document the exposure incident, including the route of exposure and the circumstances under which the exposure incident occurred.
• Identify the source individual, if possible.
• If consent can be obtained, the source individual’s blood will be tested.
• Notify the Environmental Health & Safety Office (985-448-4783)
Blood Borne Pathogen rules are in place for your health and safety. By incorporating these rules, along with our policies and procedures, and practicing universal precautions, you can protect yourself against potential exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens and aid in preventing transmission.