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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Awareness Blood Borne Pathogens-Toolbox Talks

Outline

OSHA created a rule several years ago to protect workers from exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other “bloodborne pathogens.”  Any exposure to bloodborne pathogens can lead to disease or death. 

Scope of Discussion 

If you can reasonably anticipate having skin, eye, or nasal membrane contact with blood, saliva, urine, vomit or any fluid that visibly contains blood, or other body fluid, you are “Occupationally Exposed (OE).”  First responders in emergencies situations are prominent candidates who adjust into this category.  OSHA’s rule limits their exposure.  Your employer will take the proper precautions to limit your exposure.  

Safety and Health Requirements

This should include the following: 

A determination of who is occupationally exposed in your company will allow for the proper steps to be taken to protect these workers.  Handwashing facilities and barrels for broken glass are just a couple of ways to limit exposures.  Good work practices and personal protective equipment are other means of protection.  Posting of signs and labelling containers with the appropriate biohazard sign is also effective. In addition to the above, you should take further steps to prevent infection whenever you may encounter blood or other body fluids.  

Other Good Work Practices Worth Following Are:

  • Always wash hands immediately after removing gloves or other protective equipment and after any hand contact with blood or potentially infectious fluids.
  • Do not bend, break, or re-cap any used blades or sharp item.  Never pick up broken glass or metal with your fingers.  Use a broom or tongs.
  • Dispose of used blades and needles in puncture resistance containers with leak-proof sides and bottom.  Containers must be properly labelled.
  • Do not eat or drink, apply makeup or handle contact lenses in potential exposure areas.
  • Do not store food or beverages in refrigerators or cabinets, or on shelves or countertops in these areas.
  • To make treatment of all blood and body fluids as if they were infectious. 

Questions

  1. What are good work practices for reducing the risk of contact with bloodborne pathogens?
  2. Are you at risk on your job site?
  3. Name some good rules to remember to prevent infection.

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Awareness Blood Borne Pathogens-Toolbox Talks

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