Elements of a Bloodborne Pathogens Program Part 3

In this third installment of the Elements of a Bloodborne Pathogens Program, I will address some specific parts that include: Exposure Determination, Training, and the use of the Hepatitis B Vaccine.

Each director should develop a list of all job classifications in which all employees in those job classifications have occupational exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. A second list will be drawn up of jobs in which some employees have occupational exposure and “a list of all tasks and procedures or groups of closely related task and procedures in which occupational exposure occurs and that are performed by employees in job classifications” (Bloodborne, 2016). “This exposure determination shall be made without regard to the use of personal protective equipment” Bloodborne, 2016).

After we know the employee exposure, training must be conducted. Training should be carried out at the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place and at least annually after that. Additional training must be performed when changes, “modification of tasks or procedures or institution of new tasks or procedures affect the employee’s occupational exposure” (Bloodborne, 2016). The additional training may be limited to addressing the new exposures created.  Material appropriate in content and vocabulary to educational level, literacy, and language of employees shall be used (Bloodborne, 2016). The training program shall contain at a minimum the following elements:

  • “A general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of Bloodborne Diseases” (Bloodborne Pathogens, 2016).
  • “An explanation of the modes of transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens” (Bloodborne Pathogens, 2016).
  • An example of the installation exposure control plan and the means by which the employee can obtain a copy of the written plan.
  • “An explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks” (Universal, 2016) and “other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.
  • An explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure including appropriate engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment.
  • Information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of personal protective equipment;
  • An explanation of the basis for selection of personal protective equipment;
  • Information on the hepatitis B vaccine” (Bloodborne Pathogens, 2016), including information on its efficacy, safety, method of administration, the benefits of being vaccinated.
  • Information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials;
  • “An explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available.
  • Information on the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up that the employer is required to provide for the employee following an exposure incident” (Model, 2016).
  • “An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with the person conducting the training session” (Heartsaver, 2016).

“The person conducting the training shall be knowledgeable in the subject matter covered by the elements contained in the training program as it relates to the workplace that the training will address” (Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure, 2016).

The hepatitis B vaccine and vaccination series shall be made available to all employees who have occupational exposure, or as part of a post-exposure evaluation and follow-up to all employees who have had an exposure incident and has received the training on the hazards and control measures “and within 10 working days of initial assignment to all employees who have occupational exposure unless the employee has previously received the complete hepatitis B vaccination series, antibody testing has revealed that the employee is immune, or the vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons” (OSHA, 2016).

If the employee initially declines hepatitis B vaccination but at a later date while still covered under the standard decides to accept the vaccination, the employer shall make available hepatitis B vaccination at that time. The employer shall assure that employee who declines to accept hepatitis B vaccination offered by the employer signs a statement declination.


Bloodborne pathogens. – 1910.1030, https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10051&p_table=ST (accessed September 28, 2016).

Bloodborne Pathogens – dlir.state.hi.us, https://dlir.state.hi.us/labor/hiosh/pdf/checklists/word_doc/bloodborne_pathogen (accessed September 28, 2016).

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan, https://luna.edu/media/page_files/Bloodborne_Pathogens_Exposure_Control_Plan.pdf (accessed September 28, 2016).

Heartsaver Bloodborne Pathogens Online Course Frequently .., https://www.onlineaha.org/system/scidea/courses/27/faq/faq_80-1501.pdf (accessed September 28, 2016).

Model Plans and Programs for the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens .., https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3186.html (accessed September 28, 2016).

Universal Precautions & Bloodborne Pathogen Training Log, http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/health/universalprecautions.pdf (accessed September 28, 2016).

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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