Bloodborne pathogens are a serious concern that affects the lives of millions of American workers every year. Even with the help of OSHA bloodborne pathogens training in the workplace, it’s still a threat.
A fair share of workers who deal with this threat is in the healthcare field. Generally, they understand the hazards associated with their line of work.
But there are many other workers in numerous trades and professions who are in greater danger. This is due to the fact that they and their superiors are not as informed on the subject of bloodborne pathogens.
This article will advise and educate you on some of the risks.
What is a Bloodborne Pathogen?
A bloodborne pathogen (BBP) is a microorganism that causes diseases within its host. They can be passed on via human blood as well as through other bodily fluids.
Some of these fluids include:
• Emission of sperm
• Vaginal discharge
• Amniotic juice
• Liquid surrounding joints and organs
Instances of bloodborne pathogens and the infections they cause are:
• Hepatitis B and C
OHSA Bloodborne Pathogens Training
Employees must have bloodborne pathogens training if occupational exposure is a normal part of the job. This entails that an employee can expect to come in contact with infectious materials.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provides training to educate workers.
They learn which BBPs cause which illnesses and what can be done to prevent such an event from occurring.
Safety Measures for Protection
Safety measures to ensure protection from any bloodborne diseases must be followed. These include washing hands thoroughly and often, using gloves, and following other safety guidelines.
All of this is covered in OSHA bloodborne pathogens training.
Proper Placement and Use of Equipment
Whether it’s a needle, a scalpel, or anything else, it’s paramount to ensure these materials are properly used and stored. Minor misplacements can lead to big problems.
Something as innocent as an out-of-place sharp can inflict severe abrasions and infect someone with a bloodborne pathogen.
Moreover, it’s important for workers to conduct themselves accordingly for their environment. For instance,
avoid using two-hand practices.
Handing off materials with one hand while holding onto different materials with the other should be limited.
How to Handle an Infection
If an injury from a sharp occurs, it’s critical that the individual receives medical treatment as soon as possible. If not, the injury has the potential to be a long-lasting illness.
Lightly wash the lesion using soapy water and wrap it up with a covering. Be sure not to scrub, compress, or grip the wound in any way.
Furthermore, if it’s a critical injury such as a large gash, deep abrasion, or anything else that is particularly serious, call for assistance immediately.
That is the domain of an expert who can help the person quickly and efficiently.
Education Saves Lives
Simply knowing how to handle the equipment can enhance safety practices tenfold. But also knowing what to do in the case of an emergency or accident can actually save a life.
By understanding the dangers and adhering to the OSHA bloodborne pathogens training guidelines, you’re in a more prudent position to deal with these matters safely.