Whether we like it or not, germs have always been a part of our everyday lives. While they believe that germs could be helpful, most of the time, it causes disease, tissue and organ damage, and illnesses. Research shows that even less than 1 percent of bacteria could cause sickness in people. But did you know that even a small percentage of pathogens means a big difference between life and death?
We all know how important it is to cover our mouths and wash our hands when we cough and sneeze. We believe that practising good hygiene would prevent infectious diseases from spreading, yet some pathogens spread through many forms of transmission – like other sharps and needle sticks.
That being said, the government had to step in due to risks related to exposure to bloodborne pathogens, and that’s when Bloodborne Pathogens Training started. OSHA requires it, and it is designed for individuals at risk for blood exposure and other infectious materials in the workplace.
So, if you want to know more about Bloodborne Pathogens Training, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will learn how to start your Bloodborne Pathogens Training and better understand its purpose.
What are Bloodborne Pathogens?
So, what are bloodborne pathogens, and how will we protect ourselves from them? Simply put, bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in the blood that may cause disease. Some examples are Hepa-B, Hepa-C, and another human immunodeficiency virus.
The workers may be at risk for exposure are the:
- Housekeeping personnel
- First responders
- Healthcare professionals
Any risk of the transmission of bloodborne infections depends on the type and volume of blood exposure and pathogen. For instance, some pathogens usually spread without any visible blood contamination.
Any exposure to pathogens usually occurs in many ways, but needlestick injuries are the most common trigger. About six hundred to eight hundred thousand needlesticks occur to affect healthcare workers. Another study also reports that the sharp-tip suture needles could be the leading source of injuries, which could cause most of the incidents.
Understanding Bloodborne Pathogens Training Course
This training course is one of the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Once you are done taking the course, you should discuss it with your employer, especially about the specific policies and procedures in the workplace.
More so, the course will educate employees or staff about the spreading of bloodborne pathogens, as well as avoiding exposure and the possible ways to do when exposed to infectious materials. Anyone who completes the training will receive a valid certification for one year. It usually takes about 1 hour to complete the course.
What are the Potentially Infectious Materials in a Workplace?
Infectious materials are usually present in the healthcare-related industry, such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, rehabs, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. If you are working in any of these fields, you should know the potentially infectious materials in your workplace.
- Unfixed organ or tissue from a living or a dead human
- Human body fluids such as vaginal secretions, semen, pleural fluid, synovial fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, saliva, anybody fluid with visible blood contamination, and any other body fluids where impossible or difficult to differentiate body fluids
- Tissue cultures or HIV-containing cells, HBV- or HIV- containing culture medium, organ cultures, or other tissues from animals infected with HBV or HIV
OSHA Standards for Bloodborne Pathogens
The OSHA protects employees against the transmission of bloodborne pathogens. Thus, if you are ever in a workplace that deals with infectious materials, then the standard and requirements apply to you.
As part of Bloodborne Pathogens Training, the employer should install the exposure control plan to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens; The plan is subject to review every year and updated to new advancements and procedures. This includes:
These are considered the first line of defense when preventing risks of spreading bloodborne diseases.
Work Practice Controls
This should be the next safeguard control, and it’s very important to remember that it’s not about what you use but how you will use it. With that, the work practice controls have lesser things to do with available devices. The same goes for changing mannerisms when they perform tasks.
Of course, personal protective equipment would prevent workers from being exposed to infectious and hazardous materials. The equipment acts as the barrier for the skin, nose, mouth, and eyes whenever possible exposure to infectious materials in a workplace. The PPE is not the first line of defense, but the protection enhances the engineering and work practice control safeguards.
Complying with OSHA Standards for Bloodborne Pathogens will protect employers from lawsuits. With that, the Bloodborne Pathogens Training should never be taken for granted, as it will protect the employees and patients from injuries and exposure to disease.
This training aims to protect individuals and prevent any exposure to bloodborne pathogens. It can make a difference in the community. However, all information and equipment will not do you good if you’re not considering being trained. Because when a person is trained in Bloodborne Pathogens, they can put that knowledge into practice and help prevent accidents. This would always be better than a cure.