Who Needs Bloodborne Pathogens Training? A Complete Guide

Who Needs Bloodborne Pathogens Training? A Complete Guide

Nearly six million Americans risk exposure to bloodborne pathogens at work each year. Many of these workers are in the healthcare industry. They generally expect and recognize their risk. 

A surprising number of at-risk workers are spread across other industries, however. These workers can be at higher risk of infection because they and their employers are less aware of bloodborne pathogen concerns. Here's what you need to know about risk, bloodborne pathogens training, and the legal requirements that may apply to you. 

What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are disease-causing microorganisms. These microorganisms can be present in and transmitted through human blood and other bodily fluids. These bodily fluids may also be referred to as other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). 

Examples of OPIM include:

  • Fluid around organs and joints such as the spine, heart, brain, lungs, and knees
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Amniotic fluid

Examples of BBP and the diseases they can cause include:

  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C (HCV)
  • Syphilis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 
  • AIDS
  • Malaria
  • Brucellosis 

What Authorities Oversee Bloodborne Pathogens Training?

Bloodborne pathogen concerns fall under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Any organization or business subject to OSHA must comply with the national bloodborne pathogens standard. This standard is officially and completely laid out in 29 CFR 1910.1030.

Who Must Receive Bloodborne Pathogens Training?

Employers must provide BBP training to every worker or volunteer who risks exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace. This includes formal healthcare workers such as:

  • Doctors and nurses
  • Medical students
  • Paramedics and other first responders
  • Medical care providers in private, industrial, correctional facility clinics
  • In-home healthcare providers such as visiting nurses
  • Dentists and dental hygienists or assistants
  • Nursing home, rehab, and long term care facility staff

Bloodborne pathogens training must also be provided to workers in healthcare-adjacent fields. Examples include: 

  • Housekeeping and janitorial staff
  • Staff at laundry services handling healthcare facility linen
  • Clinical and diagnostic laboratory workers
  • Blood and tissue bank workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Medical equipment repair technicians 

Non-healthcare workers who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens and therefore need training include: 

  • Law enforcement and corrections facility staff
  • Firemen
  • Teachers and other school or educational staff
  • Janitorial staff at educational facilities
  • Funeral home and mortuary workers
  • Researchers
  • Body artists
  • Anyone required to provide first aid in the course of their regular duties
  • Anyone required to clean or handle OPIM

Employers are not required to train individuals who voluntarily provide first aid outside of their usual duties. 

OSHA does not differentiate between full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. All employees of any kind who may be exposed to BBP must receive training by law. 

Particularly At-Risk Workers

According to the CDC, needlestick injuries continue to be the most serious source of BBP risk. Nurses are at particularly high risk of needlestick injury. This is true no matter what setting they work in. 

Another 25 percent of needlestick injuries affect "downstream" workers. Examples include: 

  • Laundry service workers
  • Waste haulers
  • Janitorial or housekeeping staff

Sutures and scalpel blades are also a leading cause of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Outside medical and medical-adjacent settings, researchers, body artists, and others who regularly handle needles are also at high risk of needlestick accidents.  

Basic Training Requirements

All at-risk employees must be trained on BBP risk. Workers must be trained when they are:

  • First hired
  • First assigned to work that puts them at risk
  • Reassigned to a new position that also includes risk
  • Given new duties or responsibilities that affect their risk

Workers must be re-trained each year even if their jobs and risk have not changed. It is not enough for workers to simply sit through training or be provided with training materials, either. Workers must complete bloodborne pathogens certification.

Employers must be able to demonstrate that workers understand the material. They must keep evidence of training and mastery on file. Employers need to be able to produce that documentation upon request from OSHA.

What Should Training Cover?

BBP training should teach employees about their risk and how to limit it. Legally, training must cover:

  • The definitions of BBP and OPIM 
  • How BBP are transmitted 
  • How to prevent the spread of BBP
  • Safe and appropriate work procedures
  • How to use personal protective equipment
  • The employer's Exposure Control Plan
  • What to do if exposure happens

Employers must keep records of employee training for at least three years. These records need to show:

  • Who was trained
  • When they were trained
  • What training was provided
  • The instructor's name and qualifications

Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Made Simple 

Providing bloodborne pathogen training can feel overwhelming. It may be particularly challenging for employers:

  • Outside the healthcare industry
  • With high employee turnover
  • Who do not have qualified in-house trainers
  • With multiple physical job sites

Many employers also struggle with the cost and record-keeping aspects of training. In many cases, handling training in-house is not feasible. 

Outsourcing can be an appealing alternative. Yet many employers are unsure what to look for in a training provider.  

Exposure to bloodborne pathogens is a significant workplace hazard for many people across various industries. Organizations with employees who work with blood must ensure that each person receives sufficient training in how to protect themselves and others while working with bodily fluids. 

This workplace-based bloodborne pathogen training course outlines how BBPs are transmitted and how to identify them. It's accredited by IACET and teaches the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Center for Disease Control standards for handling BBP.

Bloodborne Pathogens Training Overview

Anyone who works with blood must understand how to protect themselves and other people from blood or materials containing blood. By taking part in this interactive course, students can gain a clear understanding of the way common bloodborne diseases, including HIV, Ebola and hepatitis are transmitted. 

Upon completion of the course, your employees will be able to control BBP exposure and understand the most up-to-date procedures to follow in case of exposure. It teaches them how to follow the correct procedures regarding cleaning up, disinfecting, decontaminating and following-up. They'll also understand how to minimize the chances of catching or spreading BBPs by using appropriate controls such as PPE, Universal Controls and vaccines. 

The bloodborne pathogens training course takes place entirely online, so employees can either complete the program at work or home. Students can complete our interactive e-learning course on mobile, tablet and desktop devices, with a standalone exam at the end. The entire course takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. 

How to Purchase

  1. Add the number of people you wish to train into the box below
  2. Click ADD TO CART
  3. Register your account
  4. Checkout
  5. Get trained on PPE! 

Learning Objectives

When students have worked their way through the course, they'll be able to do the following:

  • Define bloodborne pathogens
  • Understand how BBPs are transmitted
  • Learn how to prevent the transmission of BBPs
  • Pinpoint the differences between HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
  • Follow universal precautions and standard precautions 
  • List OSHA's standards for BBPs
  • Correctly order and use personal protective equipment
  • Understand the importance of correct work practice engineering control
  • Know what to do when in the event of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials 

Table of Contents

This is the table of contents, outlining the chapters for our bloodborne pathogens training course. 

  1. Bloodborne Pathogens and Universal Precautions
  2. Legal Notice
  3. Introduction
  4. What Are BBP and OPIM?
  5. Bloodborne Pathogens: Hepatitis B
  6. Bloodborne Pathogens: Hepatitis C
  7. Bloodborne Pathogens: HIV
  8. How Are BPPs transmitted?
  9. OSHA Universal Precautions and OSHA BPP Standards
  10. CDC Standard Precautions
  11. What Are the Main Elements of Standard Precautions?
  12. CDC's transmission-based Precautions
  13. OSHA BBP Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030)
  14. Other BPP Standards from OSHA
  15. Exam
  16. Test Results and BBP Certification Award

Course Content Example

Chapter Three: Introduction

Whenever someone comes into contact with blood, they're at risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens. These are diseases that spread through blood and pose a particular threat to people who work in specific industries. 

OSHA and the CDC have devised regulations and recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous BPP. This is particularly crucial for people working in environments where they might come into contact with BPP and OPIM. 

As an employer, you have a responsibility to protect your workforce from potential hazards. By giving them proper BPP training on how to implement national standards and the correct usage of PPE, you're guaranteeing compliance. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more often known as OSHA, regulates standards that protect employees from illness and injury. To maintain OSHA compliance, many businesses have to offer training courses to at-risk members of their teams.

One of the courses you may not be familiar with is bloodborne pathogen training. What are bloodborne pathogens, and what topics does this vital class cover? Read through this concise guide to find out.

What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are also known as BBPs. They're disease-causing microbes that spread through blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

The "OPIM category includes blood serum, cerebrospinal fluid, joint capsule and organ fluid, and amniotic fluid. It also covers sexually transmitted fluids like semen and vaginal secretions.

The three most common bloodborne pathogens professionals encounter in the workplace are liver diseases Hepatitis B and C, and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

What Is OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training?

OSHA's concern with bloodborne pathogens is preventing their spread in the workplace. They especially focus on avoiding accidental exposures like needle stick injuries. Our compliance course covers all of OSHA's standard procedures as well as relevant information from the CDC.

The topics students will learn about include:

  • what defines a bloodborne pathogen
  • ways that BBPs spread
  • preventing the spread of BBPs
  • the three most common BBP infections (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV)
  • what Universal and Standard Precautions are and how to apply them
  • OSHA's BBP standards
  • using personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent BBP spread
  • work practice and engineering controls
  • how to handle a potential BBP exposure

Once they're done with the one-hour course, students will take a comprehensive exam. Those that pass with a score of 80% or higher will get a certificate of completion and be eligible for 0.1 CEUs.

Who Needs Training on Bloodborne Pathogens?

Most people would agree that doctors, nurses, first responders, and other patient care providers should get OSHA BBP training. What you might not know is that many people who don't provide medical care need to be trained as well. These roles include:

  • medical laboratory and equipment techs
  • aides in nursing homes, rehab facilities, and in at-home healthcare
  • dental teams
  • law enforcement and police officers
  • housekeepers, janitors, and laundry teams
  • blood and tissue bank staff
  • blood drive volunteers
  • school employees
  • morticians and funeral home employees
  • tattoo and piercing artists
  • managers of factories and industrial sites

In essence, anyone who might come in contact with blood, bodily fluids, or contaminated items in their line of work should receive BBP training.

Getting OSHA Training on Bloodborne Pathogens for Your Workplace

Bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis and HIV can cause serious illnesses. Thankfully, with the right education and precautions, even people working in high-risk environments can minimize their chance of infection.

Do you need to organize bloodborne pathogens training for yourself or your workplace? HIPAA Exams offers an IACET accredited Bloodborne Pathogens training course that covers both CDC and OSHA standards for handling blood and OPIM. Visit our site to order a class for yourself or take advantage of our competitive bulk pricing.

Course Content Example

Chapter Four: What Are BPP and OPIM?

BBP describes any infectious or pathogenic organism that can lead to disease in humans. Many illnesses are carried via the blood, but the CDC recognizes human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus as posing the most concern. 

A BBP exposure incident occurs when particular areas of an individual's body make contact with blood or OPIM as a direct result of engaging in work-related duties. An exposure incident involves contact with:

  • Contact with a mucose membrane e.g., nose, mouth or eyes
  • Contact with cuts, scrapes, acne, dermatitis and any other broken skin 
  • Parenteral contact with a contaminated piece of equipment 

What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

A pathogen is something that spreads disease, and a bloodborne pathogen is a disease that spreads via the blood. The most common and dangerous germs that can spread through the blood are HIV, HBV and HCV. People can get sick from these illnesses from equipment that's touched an infected person's blood, or from direct contact between bodily fluids. They can also spread through mucose membranes and cuts, making them highly infectious diseases. 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HIV can also spread through the fluid that's in between your joints, in addition to spinal fluids. Sexual fluids, breast milk and amniotic fluid are also carriers of this BBP.

So far, if HIV has entered the body, there's no way of entirely curing it. This virus gradually weakens and destroys the immune system, eventually leading to AIDS. 

Hepatitis B 

The symptoms of HBV include joint pain, temperature, lethargy, nausea, dark urine and liver damage. In some cases, there are no symptoms at all with HBV, and the disease goes away on its own. However, it can also cause a long-term infection that leads to severe liver damage. 

Hepatitis C 

Most people who are diagnosed with HCV end up contracting a long-term infection that causes liver disease, jaundice, fever and muscle ache. Acute symptoms might display between one and three months after exposure to the virus and usually last up to three months. 

Who Is This Course For?

  • Health care professionals
  • Educators
  • Manufacturers
  • Child care workers
  • Tattoo artists
  • Housekeeping professionals
  • Maintenance
  • Fitness professional
  • Food handlers 



Everyone who successfully completes the Bloodborne Pathogens Training Course receives a certificate.


Clients aren’t charged extra if they need to take the test more than once. 

Instant Access

You can get access from any device, anywhere in the world as soon as your purchase is complete.


You don’t need to pay recurring fees, and all of our courses are affordable. 

Get Qualified Today

If you’re ready to get your team qualified, order your Bloodborne Pathogens Training Courses today.

HIPAA Exams Bloodborne Pathogens Training

HIPAA Exams' Bloodborne Pathogens Training Course takes the guesswork and stress out of BBP training. Appropriate for anyone exposed to BBP risk, the course takes only about one hour to complete. It can be accessed online from anywhere at any time. 

Staff can work through the course at their own pace, repeating sections as necessary to fully master the material. They can complete the training at their usual job site or in the comfort of their own homes.

This provides employers with maximum flexibility in training delivery. It also makes it easy for workers to repeat or refresh their training whenever they need to. 

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: 

  • Saliva
  • 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
  • Phlebotomists
  • 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 

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. 

The course covers all OSHA-required topics and includes: 

  • A bloodborne pathogens test to prove content mastery 
  • A printable certificate of completion for documentation purposes
  • Opportunities to re-take the test as needed
  • CEU credit

The online course also makes it easy for employers to pull-up training records at a moment's notice. This ensures they always remain OSHA compliant. 

How to Get Started

If your staff needs bloodborne pathogens training, HIPAA Exams can help. Check out our HIPAA and OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Bundle for healthcare workers or dental offices. Let our cost-effective and user-friendly bloodborne pathogens certification training programs bring your organization up to speed today.


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