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Bloodborne Pathogens / BBP Kits & Personal Protection: Bodily Fluid Spill Pick up & Blood or OPIM Contact
The Bloodborne Pathogen standard (29 CFR 1910.1030)
29 CFR 1910.1030 is a performance-oriented standard, in that OSHA states what the required standards are and then allows the employer to “craft the most protective and cost effective programs possible.”
The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard affects any employee who may come into contact with blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM). The Standard is regulated by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It requires safety practices to be implemented and followed by employers and employees to reduce or eliminate the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace.
Bloodborne Pathogens are microorganisms that exist in blood and other bodily fluids, and can cause disease in humans. They include the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV). Each of these diseases can be fatal, and each can be avoided by observing the concept of Universal Precautions.
The Standard affects any employee who may come in contact with human blood or OPIM. Some identified populations at risk include workers in: Funeral Homes, Industrial Facilities, Research Labs, Linen Services, Nospitality / Housekeeping, Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue Operations, Waste Removal, Lifesaving, Personnel Services, and any employee whose job designation requires them to render first aid, even as a collateral duty.
Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM):
OPIM includes semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, or any other body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, or where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids.
1. Develop a written Exposure Control Plan designed to:
a.) Identify employees or tasks at risk, and...
b.) Document a schedule of implementation.
2. Develop Engineering Controls designed to:
Reduce or eliminate the risk of exposure to bloodborne disease. (Engineering Controls are controls (e.g., biohazard bags, sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles) that isolate or remove the bloodborne pathogens hazard from the workplace).
3. Provide Personal Protective Equipment.
(PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment worn or used by an employee for protection against a hazard. General work clothes (e.g., uniforms, pants, shirts, or blouses) are not considered to be personal protective equipment. This can also be interpreted to apply to spill pick up materials and BBP Kits.
Work Practice Controls are controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by altering the manner in which a task is performed (e.g., prohibiting the disposal of blood soaked material in unmarked trash receptacles).
5. Develop procedures to evaluate circumstances surrounding Exposure Incidents.
An “Exposure Incident” means a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or piercing contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that results from the performance of an employee’s duties.
6. Offer the Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine to all employees with designated exposure risk.
Employees who have been designated as having “Occupational Exposure” are given the opportunity to be vaccinated for the Hepatitis B virus. The vaccination will be given at no charge to the employee.
7. Provide labels and signs.
Labels must identify:
a. Containers used to store, transport, ship or dispose of blood or other potentially infectious material.
b. Contaminated equipment.
Signs must be posted at entrances to research labs or production facilities where a person could come into contact with an infectious agent.
Employees have the responsibility of using PPE whenever the possibility of exposure to blood or body fluids exists. This equipment must not allow blood or OPIM to pass through to the employee’s clothes, skin, eyes, or mouth.
• When handling materials or individuals contaminated with blood or OPIM, rubber gloves must be worn. Hypoallergenic gloves must be made available for individuals with allergic reactions to latex products.
• Single-use gloves must be replaced as soon as possible after they have been contaminated or if they become torn or punctured.
• Latex or rubber gloves should never be washed for reuse.
• Rubber gloves are not sufficient protection for the handling of contaminated sharp objects such as needles or broken glass. For these functions, use heavy gloves, tongs, or other appropriate equipment that eliminates the risk of puncture and exposure. Other examples of personal protective equipment can include:
• PLASTIC VISORS
• HALF-FACE MASKS
• FULL BODY SUIT/GOWN
• EYE GOGGLES
• CPR MASKS
The type and amount of Personal Protective Equipment used should be appropriate to the exposure risk. Although your employer is responsible for providing you with PPE, it is your responsibility as an employee to:
• Use PPE correctly and whenever necessary,
• Inform your employer of any PPE improvements that you feel must be made to ensure your safety on the job.
SAFE DISPOSAL METHODS
• Equipment, cleaning materials, and PPE that may have been contaminated with blood or OPIM shall not be disposed of without proper safeguard procedures.
• Objects that may be contaminated must be carefully collected in specially marked biohazard bags, and removed from the premises by licensed Hazardous Waste contractors.
• Biohazard bags are thick plastic bags, usually red in color, and are clearly marked with the biohazard label.
• If temporarily stored on the premises, these biohazard bags must be securely fastened, double-bagged, and placed in a clearly labeled cardboard container.
• Do not compress the contents.
• Contaminated sharps (needles, broken glass, etc.) must be disposed of in specially designed sharps disposal containers.
• Sharps Disposal Containers are sealable containers, leakproof on 3 sides, puncture resistant, and clearly marked with the biohazard label.
• Biohazard bags and sharps disposal containers should be located in each first aid room at your facility.
Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Information
The CDC states that "Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. " so if you are concerned about contracting Ebola from an infected person, know that Ebola is generally spread by blood-to-blood or blood-to-mucous (eyes, nose, mouth) contact.
A person infected with Ebola can’t spread the disease until symptoms appear:
The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear (the incubation period) is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is 8 to 10 days. Signs of Ebola include fever (higher than 101.5°F) and symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with:
- Blood and body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
- Objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food. Protect yourself against Ebola. There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola. Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness. To protect yourself from Ebola:
- DO wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do NOT touch the blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of people who are sick.
- Do NOT handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment.
- Do NOT touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola.