Elements of a Bloodborne Pathogens Program Part Two

Using Control Measures is vital for the prevention of exposure. Universal precautions should be used to prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. When you cannot tell the difference between body fluid types, consider all body fluids potentially infectious materials.

Types of Control Measures

There are several types of control Measures. First employers should ensure that employees wash their hands immediately or as soon as feasible after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment (Acceptable, 2003). Employers should also ensure that employees wash hands and any other skin with soap and water, or flush mucous membranes with water immediately or as soon as feasible following contact of such body areas with blood or other potentially infectious materials (Acceptable, 2003). All procedures involving blood or other potentially infectious materials should be performed in such a manner as to minimize splashing, spraying, spattering, and generation of droplets of these substances (Bloodborne, 2016). There are control measures that involve personal protective equipment, which leads me to break them down in the next section.

Personal Protective Equipment

When there is occupational exposure, the employer should provide appropriate personal protective equipment. That equipment should consist of gloves, face shields or masks and eye protection, and mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, pocket masks, or other ventilation devices (Infectious, 2016).

Personal protective equipment is “appropriate only if it does not permit blood or “other potentially infectious materials to pass through to or reach the” employees (Infectous, 2016):

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Work Clothes
  • Street Clothes
  • Undergarments
  • Mouth or other mucous membranes

There is a very limited situation when an employee can decline the use of protective equipment temporarily. The exception is when the employee believes in his or her professional judgment that its use poses an increased hazard to the safety of the worker or co-workers. When the employee makes this judgment circumstances should be investigated and documented “to determine whether changes can be instituted to prevent such occurrences in the future” (Sample, 2016).

The appropriate personal protective equipment in the appropriate sizes must be readily available at the worksite or issued to employees. “Employers provide hypoallergenic gloves, glove liners, powderless gloves, or other similar alternatives to those employees who are allergic to the gloves normally provided” (Safeskin, 2016).

Employees wear gloves when they anticipated that they may have hand contact with blood, other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, and non-intact skin; when performing vascular access procedures (1910.1030, 2016).

Disposable gloves are meant to be single use. Disposable gloves such as surgical or examination gloves should “be replaced as soon as practical when contaminated or as soon as feasible when torn, punctured, or when their ability to function as a barrier is compromised” (1910.1300, 2016). Disposable gloves should not be washed or decontaminated for re-use” (Infection, 2016).


Acceptable use of antiseptic-hand cleansers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan – Purdue University. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.purdue.edu/ehps/rem/home/booklets/bpecp.pdf

SUBJECT: INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL NUMBER: 2-14. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www1.maine.gov/dps/mcja/links/documents/2-14InfectiousDiseaseControl12-1

Sample Program Bloodborne Pathogens. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://amtrustgroup.com/AmTrust/media/AmTrust/Documents/Loss%20Control%20Docs/B

SAFESKIN CORP – Annual Report (10-K) PART I. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sec.edgar-online.com/safeskin-corp/10-k-annual-report/1999/04/06/section2

Bloodborne pathogens. – 1910.1030. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10051&p_table=ST

INFECTION CONTROL GUIDELINES 8 – Citrus County School District. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.citrus.k12.fl.us/policy/guidelines/813GInfectionContGdlns.pdf

About Fred Fanning Author

Fred Fanning spent over 20 years in the safety profession. His final safety position was as the Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He began writing in 1994, published his first book in 1998, and began writing professionally in 2015. He has authored and coauthored articles, written books, and chapters for technical books and stories for anthologies.
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