Bloodborne Pathogens

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The intent of the rule form OSHA is to reduce the risk of on-the-job exposure to blood and other infectious materials that may contain blood borne pathogens. OSHA standards are meant to protect employees from potentially hazardous and infectious materials by using a blend of personal hygiene, personal protective equipment, work placement training and practices. Putting all of this together and following the OSHA standards and precautions greatly reduces the risk of contracting and transmitting blood borne diseases. The current OSHA standard requires that engineering controls must be used where they will reduce employee exposure either by removing, elimination or isolation the hazard. This places a larger responsibility on the employer to identify positions or tasks that are covered by the standard and develop a system of annual training for all covered employees. (pg. 10-11 Blood Borne Pathogens Training; American Red Cross) Because there are specific guidelines that employers are regulated to emplace, employees know how to handle soiled equipment and supplies which insure that they are properly cleaned and disinfected. Following the precautions usually removes at least one of four conditions necessary for disease transmission. For any disease to be spread, including bloodborne diseases all four of the following conditions much be met: a pathogen is present, there is enough present to cause disease, the pathogen passes through the correct entry site and, a person is susceptible to the pathogen. If one of these conditions is missing than the infection will not occur. (pg. 5 Blood Borne Pathogens, American Red Cross) Because the necessary training and information is provided for employees working in these positions that could possibly put them in contact with infectious materials it is critical that employees and employers know what procedures to follow once they have and accident or have been exposed. Having this knowledge and tools provides a safer...
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