Friday, November 4, 2016

Exposure and blood borne pathogens in the workplace

Exposures to blood-borne pathogens (BBP) in construction have continued to increase in recent years, and OSHA issued It’s Blood borne Pathogen Standard 29CFR 1910.1030 to protect workers from diseases associated with these infectious microorganisms. These can include but are not limited to:
  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C (HCV)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
One of the most effective ways to protect employees in the event of an incident leading to exposure, is to have a Blood Borne Pathogen Kit. These kits include essentials such as:
  • Personal Protective Apparel
  • Spill Clean-Up Provisions in Compliance with OSHA Standard 1090.1030
  • Weatherproof Outer Shell to Properly Protect Contents

OSHA definition of occupational exposure:
 “Reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other
potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties.”
What to do if someone has a significant exposure to infected b (HIV/Hep) and the protocols for administering anti-viral?
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that Post Exposure Prophylaxis or PEP is a way to prevent HIV infection after a possible recent occupational exposure. It involves taking HIV medications as soon as possible within 3 days after a single high risk event to stop HIV from making copies of itself and spreading throughout human body. The sooner, the better; every hour counts.
What to do if workers exposed to the blood?
  • Report all exposures promptly to ensure that you receive appropriate follow up care.
  • Flush splashes to nose, mouth, or skin with water.
  • Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water.
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile wash.
Prevention of Exposure.
  • Employers must establish and educate workers about an exposure control program
  • Determination and use of engineering controls, which includes containers and self-sheathing needles for safely disposing blood-borne pathogen hazards from the workplace.
  • Observation of work practice controls.
  • Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Make sure the company you work for is prepared in the event of an emergency. For more information on blood-borne pathogens, see OSHA's website at:

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