The Bloodborne Pathogen standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is designed to protect the more than 5 million workers in the United States at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the hepatitis B virus, and the hepatitis C virus. Though the chances of contracting a disease transmitted by blood are relatively low, they are real. Transmission of these infections is preventable. Working together, employers and employees can prevent becoming infected by these diseases in the workplace. All employees who may perform activities where occupational exposure is possible are covered by these regulations. Occupational exposure means skin, eye, mucous membrane or non-intact skin (e.g., needle stick, cuts, abrasions) contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that may be reasonably anticipated while on the job. Employees whose duties place them "at risk," as defined above, are required to receive training.
The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard is intended to protect workers from all known and as yet, unknown diseases transmitted by blood. The viruses of greatest concern at present, however, are HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and those found in human or non-human primate derived cell lines.
Training is required initially, annually, and as policy/procedure changes occur.