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Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms present in human blood which can cause diseases. It is crucial to understand and implement safety measures to minimize and prevent exposure of these pathogens. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention established "Universal Precautions" as a protocol for those who can potentially be exposed. This approach has also been implemented by OSHA in the Bloodborne Standard.
Hepatitis b. and Human Immunodeficiency Virus are life threatening diseases that fall under the Bloodborne Pathogen category. Universal Precautions are protective practices that will help workers and others within the area minimize and prevent contamination. Job sites with reasonable likelihood of exposure must have a written "OSHA Exposure Control Plan" that is kept updated.
Some of the protective practices include: always wear personal protective equipment, never manually compress trash, never reuse towels and sponges amongst many more. One of the best take-aways from taking this training is finding out I can get a free Hepatitis vaccination after completing the course. Those working in a healthcare setting have even stricter precautions to adhere to. Disposing of sharp objects into the correct container and using color-coded bags are examples of said practices that are essential to everyone's safety. Two websites to look up further information on bloodborne pathogens and our role in preventing contamination are: www.osha.gov and betco.com.
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