Over half of all nurses will suffer a needlestick incident at least once. These dangerous accidents will leave them at serious risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens (BBP).
Nurses are far from the only people at risk of such exposure in the workplace, however. Workers in a range of industries face similar threats every day. To reduce these dangers and prevent the spread of disease, OSHA requires that all at-risk personnel receive appropriate bloodborne pathogens training.
Here’s what you need to know about these requirements, who they apply to, and how to comply with them.
Who Needs Training?
By law, OSHA requires that employers provide bloodborne pathogens training to all employees, volunteers, and others who are exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) in the workplace. Examples of OPIM include bodily fluids such as:
- Semen or vaginal secretions
- Fluid from organs such as the spine, brain, lungs, or heart
- Amniotic fluid
- Tissue or cell cultures (human or animal)
- Microscopic pathogens
All persons exposed to these substances are covered by OSHA law. This includes public and private sector employees in any industry or job role.
The ruling also does not make distinctions between full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. They are all covered.
Examples of the diverse range of affected job roles include:
- First responders
- Dentists and dental assistants
- Healthcare workers
- Tattoo artists
- Janitorial and housekeeping personnel
- Volunteers at vaccination clinics
- Lab workers handling tissue cultures or samples
Importantly, individuals who may be expected to administer first aid at any time in the course of their duties are also covered. For instance, this may include camp counselors, trail or tour guides, and other employees not directly employed in any form of traditional health care.
What Do They Need Training On?
To be OSHA compliant, bloodborne pathogens training must include a number of key points. These include:
- Types of bloodborne diseases
- How bloodborne pathogens can be contracted
- OSHA standards surrounding BBP
- The workplace Exposure Control Plan and procedures
- The difference between general exposure and an exposure incident
- How to properly use personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Proper handling of an exposure incident
At the end of BBP training, employees should have a strong understanding of their risk and how to minimize it. They should be able to state workplace safety and prevention policies and feel confident about the steps to take in an emergency. They must also be able to clearly identify warning labels and the appropriate disposal places for potentially dangerous objects such as sharps or human waste.
All training courses should include assessment tools to make sure that participants are following along and truly grasping the material.
How Often Is Training Required?
Employers must train all affected workers on BBP when they first begin work with the company or facility. Employees also need to be recertified in BBP training:
- At least once per year
- Any time they change jobs or job duties in ways that affect their exposure risk
Employers may also want to provide or refresh workers’ training:
- After on-site incidents
- When external forces impact exposure risk
- When the Exposure Control Plan or other internal processes or procedures are updated or changed
Training Documentation Requirements
Employers must keep employees’ bloodborne pathogens certifications on file for at least three years from the date of training. OSHA permits employers to keep records electronically or in hardcopy. In either case, however, employers must be able to produce these records on demand.
Training records must show the:
- Trainee’s name and job role
- Date of training
- Name and qualifications of the person providing the training
- Training session summary noting exactly what was covered
Employers may wish to include other information for their own convenience. For instance, recording when employees are due for bloodborne pathogens certification renewal can simplify internal tracking and planning.
Effective Bloodborne Pathogens Training Made Easy
Employers are free to design, deliver, and track their own internal bloodborne pathogens courses as long as those courses and documentation meet OSHA standards. In most cases, however, this simply isn’t practical. Designing and delivering an internal course is time-consuming and expensive.
It also puts heavy and ongoing pressure on companies. Employers handling training themselves must consistently dedicate resources to staying up-to-date with the latest information and requirements.
They also bear the risk of being audited and found out of compliance with OSHA standards. The penalties for this can be high. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
HIPAA Exams makes bloodborne pathogens certification easy. Our Bloodborne Pathogens Training course is OSHA compliant and appropriate for everyone in your organization who needs BBP training. Our expert in-house team ensures that course material remains relevant and up-to-date so that you never have to worry.
Our course also offers the ultimate in training convenience. It:
- Is available online 24/7, enabling your team to access and complete modules at their convenience from anywhere
- Takes only 60 minutes
- Can be retaken whenever your workers need recertification or just a refresher
- Confers CEUs on workers who successfully complete the training
- Includes a comprehension test to ensure training effectiveness
- Includes a printable certificate of completion to simplify your tracking and documentation processes
Online training is also significantly more cost-effective than in-person training. Your employees can take the course quickly and easily before, during, or after a standard shift. This prevents you from:
- Needing to cover shifts so that employees can participate in off-site training
- Paying standard event costs such as renting space and ordering catering
- Scheduling multiple training dates in an attempt to get everyone certified
Our online system also makes it easy to verify training completion and to print new certificates as needed. This means you’ll never be without documentation when you need it. Our helpful staff is available any time to assist if you have questions, as well.
Finally, our comprehensive course catalog makes it easy to stack BBP training with other related training courses your staff may need.
Simplify Your Bloodborne Pathogens Training Today
If you’ve been looking for bloodborne pathogens training solutions, look no further. Sign up today or contact us for more information. Let us help you reduce your risk and stress with the best BBP training available.