Be Part of the Ultimate Safety & Compliance Community
Trending news, knowledge-building content, and more – all personalized to you!
Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although exposure to BBPs may occur in many ways such as through body fluids, mucous membranes, and non-intact skin, needlestick injuries are the most common means of exposure. Therefore, the majority of at-risk workers are in the health care field, but exposures can also occur to workers in general industrial and office settings.
It is up to every employer to ensure that employees who can reasonably be anticipated to come into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) as a result of doing their job duties are protected. If you have at least one employee with one or more tasks or procedures that result in exposure, Cal/OSHA requires your company to develop a bloodborne pathogens exposure control program. You should be aware that some facilities and operations are considered by Cal/OSHA to involve “occupational exposure,” because the intrinsic nature of the facility or operation is such that contact with blood or OPIM is reasonably anticipated for at least some of the employees involved with the facility or operation.
California’s state requirements regarding bloodborne pathogens include some regulatory information beyond the federal requirements. A summary of the additional requirements includes the following: