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What is a Blood-borne Pathogens Exposure Plan?

Nov
16

Date: November 16th, 2017

Every company should have a blood-borne pathogens exposure control plan. This is mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The plan outlines actions that must be taken to minimize or reduce the risk of employees’ exposure to blood-borne pathogens. In this article, we will explain the important elements of a blood-borne pathogen exposure control plan.

Blood-borne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

Blood-borne pathogens exposure plan should inform the employee’s actions that they should take to prevent exposure to infectious diseases. The requirement of the control plan is explained in OSHA’s Blood-borne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR Part 1910.1030. This plan must be made available to every employee within the organization.

Here are some of the important elements that must be contained in a blood-borne pathogen exposure control plan.

1. Purpose of the Plan

The employees must be told about the specific purpose of the plan. The purpose of the plan should be stated to minimize exposure of the employees to blood-borne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

2. Identification of the Employee Exposure

A company should identify employees who are occupationally exposed to blood-borne pathogens and OPIM. Every employee who is expected to be exposed to possibly contaminated blood during the course of the performance of job duty should be identified in the plan.

3. Safe Work Practices

The blood-borne pathogens exposure control plan should explain preventive measures that can be taken to remove or minimize the risk of exposure during the work. Safe work practices include use of sharp containers for placing blood contaminated test tubes, contaminated needles, or other sharp objects. The plan should specify that the sharp containers should be routinely replaced to avoid overfilling.

In addition, the plan should specify that the reusable sharp objects should be placed in metal trays for decontamination. The plan should recommend that the area should be cleaned using liquid bleach or chemical germicides. Also, it should recommend safe work practices such as cleaning up body fluids and spills as soon as possible using disposable absorptive materials like gauze pads and paper towels.

4. Use of Protective Gear

Employees must be instructed on how to use proper protective gear to prevent exposure to blood-borne pathogens. They should be told about the use of reusable rubber gloves, face shield, goggles, lab coats, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

5. Storage Location

The company should also identify safe storage location for blood-borne protective gear. It should state rules for disposal of face shields, gloves, coveralls, resuscitation devices, sharp containers, and other contaminated items.

Apart from preparing a blood-borne pathogens exposure plan, the company should educate and organize a blood-borne pathogens training program for the employees. This is essential to ensure the safety of the employees. Moreover, it will ensure that the company doesn’t face any lawsuit for not taking any action for prevention of blood-borne pathogen exposure.

 

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