Any INSPIRIS colleague with direct patient contact could potentially be exposed to a workplace accident. Because of the danger of exposure presented by potential workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set forth rules and regulations to protect you. OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard took effect in March 1992. It is designed to prevent deaths and infections by limiting occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. Any exposure to blood or other body fluids can result in transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis viruses and the HIV virus. The OSHA standard requires employers to reduce the risk of exposure by using a combination of personal hygiene, personal protective equipment, engineering and work practice controls, and training. Below is a summary.

Purpose: To prevent needlesticks and other exposure to blood and other body fluids which contain blood at work.

Who is covered: The standard covers private sector workers in all states. It covers state and local government workers in states with federally approved state OSHA plans and in other states with laws that cover public employees.

What is required: Employers must identify workers at risk, provide safety needles and puncture proof containers, ensure that universal precautions are practiced, provide gloves, masks and other protective equipment, provide prompt evaluation and treatment to workers who have a needlestick or other exposure to blood, provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers who are exposed to blood and train workers each year on bloodborne diseases.

Changes required by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act: The Law was passed in 2000 and it amended the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard to include stronger requirements to provide safety needles, more accurate recording of needlesticks, and the involvement of workers in the selection of equipment and work practices to prevent needlesticks and other exposures to blood.

Source: Health and Safety Fact Sheet, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
A complete copy of the standard can be found at:

Bloodborne Pathogens Annual Training 2012
Click on the lesson number for more information.
Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: Infection & Bloodborne Diseases – The Basics
Lesson 3: How Bloodborne Pathogens are Spread
Lesson 4: Personal Precautions & Exposure Controls
Lesson 5: Responsibilities & Exposure Response

You must be logged into your account to participate in this activity. Begin by clicking Take Course and viewing the course information; then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen.

At the end of Lesson 5 you will be required to take a test.  This test will cover all five lessons.  You must score at least 70% to pass.  You will also be required to complete an evalution upon completing all lessons.