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The importance of knowledge of Bloodborne Pathogens

07 Aug 2022 1:26 PM | Connor Westcott

Bloodborne Pathogens are serious and life threatening diseases, therefore knowledge of these pathogens is absolutely vital for cleaning business' and employees. Pathogens such Hep B, HIV and AIDS are very dangerous and can be life threating, knowledge of these pathogens as well as comprehension of necessary PPE and safety procedures is essential to both employees and staff alike in order to keep all involved safe and protected. Bloodborne pathogens are capable of spreading through contact with the nose, mouth or any opening on the skin for example a cut. The CDC created the "Universal Precaution" approach. Which recommends that all blood or bodily fluids from patients should be considered infectious. This is the approach OSHA has taken in the Bloodborne Standard. 

The Universal Precaution approach states that, laundry that has been soiled by blood or bodily fluids can be color-coded if the laundry is handled with Universal Precaution. Labels and color-coding must be clear to allow all employees know that Universal Precaution is required. If the laundry is sent to a location that does not use Universal Precaution then the bags must be clearly labeled and color-coded red or orange.  PPE is crucial to using Universal Precaution effectively. Failure to use proper PPE can result in injury which could lead to an infection from a bloodborne pathogen. 

Bloodborne pathogens are serious illnesses that should be addressed quickly and seriously. An example of a bloodborne pathogen is HBV, HBV can cause liver disease, inflames and damages the liver and can even cause cancer later on. If an employee suspects they have been exposed to HBV the HBV vaccine must be made free for the employee. After completing bloodborne pathogen training those who can be exposed at work daily should be vaccinated after training. Employees should also vaccinated within 10 days of assignment.  Another example of a bloodborne pathogen is HIV contraction of HIV can often lead to contraction of AIDS. Which is a life-threatening disease. Symptoms of HIV may not appear until years later. Employers should keep a written plan of what to do in the situation of a potential exposure. OSHA requires specific documents from the employer, and your employer must hold the records for 3 years after the exposure. 

Bloodborne pathogens are very serious and can often be life-threating to employees and staff alike. The best way to avoid exposure to these is through the Universal Precaution approach. All employees and staff require knowledge of Universal Precaution in order to stay safe. 


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