Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are viruses that can be present in blood or in “Other Potentially Infectious Material” and cause serious diseases. HIV, Hepatitis B and C are the main viruses of concern.

“Other Potentially Infectious Material” might include any body fluids visibly contaminated with blood among many others.


Bloodborne pathogens can enter your body by:

  • A break in the skin (cut, lesion)
  • Mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth)


Job duties that can have BBP exposure

  • Picking up discarded syringes in public places
  • Providing first aid treatment
  • Cleaning up broken containers containing blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”


Safe work practices

  • Don’t eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or lip balm, or handle contact lenses in any work areas where there is the possibility of exposure to blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”
  • Don’t place food or drink in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets, countertops or bench tops in any other work areas where blood or OPIM is located
  • Don’t handle discarded syringes with bare hands


What to do if you are exposed to blood or “Other Potentially Infectious Material”

  • Wash needlesticks, cuts, and skin with soap and water
  • Flush/splashes to the nose and mouth with water
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or a sterile irrigant
  • Report exposure to your supervisor
  • Schedule visit to doctor as soon as possible


Develop a BBP exposure control plan

Exposure Control Plan

Exposure Control Template


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Employees should always wear PPE when they may be exposed to infectious or potentially infectious materials
  • Always inspect PPE for cracks, holes or other damage. Never use damaged or contaminated PPE
  • Contaminated PPE shall be removed immediately and placed in an approved container.
    (PPE examples include eye goggles, face shields, gloves, aprons, etc.)


Let’s be safe out there!

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