People who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens (BBP) at their workplace are vulnerable to various diseases. Bloodborne pathogens consist of microorganisms found in blood, and they can cause an array of serious illnesses. Therefore, OSHA requires employers to offer appropriate BBP training to workers who are at risk of these deadly pathogens. Read on to learn what should be included in your bloodborne pathogens training.
Help Trainees Identify some Bloodborne Diseases
Pathogens that are found in human blood can cause different types of diseases like hepatitis B and C as well as HIV and Aids. Human blood can also carry other infectious diseases like syphilis, brucellosis, babesiosis, and many others that can be transmitted to other people through contact. As such, training should help the employees identify these types of diseases together with their symptoms.
Who Must Take Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
The course is for frontline workers in hospitals, primary care facilities, and other medical entities where people are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. In other words, all medical professionals who are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens should get HIPAA Training to protect them against various infections. Other employees who may come in contact with potentially infectious materials on the job include first-aid providers, housekeeping personnel, and other healthcare professionals. Upon completion of the course, the employees should get the certification. However, the training should be ongoing to protect the wellbeing of the employees.
How are Bloodborne Pathogens Transmitted?
The employees need to know that bloodborne pathogens are transmitted from infected persons when they get into contact with them through broken skin or mucous membranes. BBP exposure also occurs when the workers get into contact with different contaminants through the mouth, nose, or eyes. A cut with a contaminated razor or needle stick can also enhance the transmission of various diseases to the people in different workstations. Therefore, training should teach employees the standard precautions to take including disposal methods of all sharp objects.
Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The employees should learn about personal protective equipment (PPE) during bloodborne pathogens training. There are different types of PPE that include gloves, masks, gowns, face shields, goggles, boots, and others. PPE is very effective since it helps prevent direct contact with other people or patients in healthcare centers. Other best practices that the employees should know during training include the following:
- Housekeeping precautions
- Personal hygiene
- Disinfecting and cleaning equipment
- Proper disposal of waste
- Using needleless devices
Knowledge about safety precautions in the workplace can go a long way in protecting the employees against the risks of BBP infections.
Before providing training to the employees, the trainers should explain the OSHA requirements and also explain the expectations of the BBP standards. These standards apply to all occupational exposures and related diseases. The workers must also get training about control plans they can implement to prevent infection. The plan should also outline how the institution will address all the requirements of the OSHA regulations.
Use of Warning Signs and Labels
The instructors should also enlighten the employees during bloodborne pathogen training about the significance of different signs and labels used in the workplace. These signs help communicate different hazards that may exist in and around the work station. For instance, containers with regulated waste, freezers containing blood, and containers with reusable objects should be clearly labeled.
Employee Response in Case of Emergency
Another vital element that needs to be included in the BBP training pertains to employee response during an emergency. Handling emergencies is tricky, and this is the reason why the employees should know the ideal response procedures. The workers should also know the responsible people to call for help when they encounter such cases. Additionally, the workers must know how to immediately report work-related contacts with blood pathogens to their supervisor. All people exposed to BBP should get confidential medical evaluation and take necessary measures to minimize the risk of infection.
When the employees are exposed to bloodborne pathogens, they should also know the vaccination options available. The trainers should explain how the vaccines are administered, their safety, and their effectiveness. However, employees have the right to decline vaccinations they are not comfortable with.
Bloodborne pathogens include microorganisms that are found in human blood, and they carry infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Those who work in healthcare institutions face great risks of contracting various illnesses. Therefore, employers must provide bloodborne pathogens training to their staff members. The course should cover different topics like how pathogens are transmitted, their symptoms, and the significance of personal protective equipment. The workers must also know the emergency procedures should an unexpected situation arise.