Weekly Safety Meeting – Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Hazards

Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Hazards

In the workplace, bloodborne pathogens (BBP) may be transmitted when blood or other infectious body fluids come in contact with mucous membranes (your eyes, nose, mouth), non- intact skin (due to cuts, abrasions, burns, rashes, paper cuts), or by handling or touching contaminated materials or surfaces. Bloodborne pathogens are also transmitted by “injection” under the skin via a contaminated sharp object puncturing or cutting the skin causing a wound.

Individuals who are infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) may not show symptoms and may not know they are infectious. For this reason, all human blood and body fluids should be considered as if infectious, and all precautions should be taken to avoid contact. This simple rule is known as “universal precautions.”

For your safety, you need to assume that the blood of any person is infected with a lethal disease.

When your job is helping other people who are ill or injured, you could be putting your own health at risk. Exposure to lethal bloodborne diseases is a job hazard for health care providers, first aid attendants, and emergency responders.

The viruses that cause these diseases are spread by contact with blood and some other bodily fluids. If your job includes the possibility of contact with human blood and certain other body fluids, your employer has a plan to keep you safe.

Most common bloodborne pathogens are:

  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV);

  • Hepatitis C virus (HBC);

  • Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV); or

  • Potentially infectious materials.

Take precautions:

  • Universal precautions are safe practices you should follow any time there is risk of contact with another person’s blood or body fluids. These safe practices include the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • Wear disposable rubber gloves when there is risk of exposure to people or materials that may be contaminated with blood or body fluids.

  • To prevent transferring the contamination to your hands, use care removing contaminated gloves. Thoroughly wash your hands after removing your gloves.

  • If there is a possibility for a spray or splash of blood or body fluids to your face and eyes, put on goggles or a face shield. Cover any other exposed areas of your body where you may have cuts or breaks in the skin.

  • Wear a rubber or vinyl apron to keep blood and body fluids off your clothing.Do not pick up needles or broken glass with your bare hands. Wear gloves and use a scoop or dustpan. Deposit the objects into a puncture-resistant, leak-proof container.

Responding to injuries:

  • Use universal precautions when attending to any bleeding wound on another person. Assume that bloodborne pathogens could be present.

  • Have the worker apply bandages to control bleeding for minor injuries. If needed, provide assistance.

  • Wear disposable rubber gloves and try to avoid contact with any blood or body fluids on the person or his or her clothing;

  • If disposable gloves are not readily available in an emergency, use your work gloves, a clean towel, or newspaper to prevent contact with blood or body fluids;

  • When finished with treatment and clean up, carefully remove your gloves to avoid touching the glove’s contaminated exterior;

  • Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after removing your gloves;

  • If you do get blood or body fluids on your skin, immediately wash the contaminated areas with soap and water;

o Use emergency eye wash to thoroughly flush any contamination from your eyes or mouth.

o Report any exposure incidents to your supervisor or medical department.

Cleaning up contaminated areas and materials:

  • Clean up and disinfect blood and body fluids as soon as possible. If needed, barricade the contaminated area to keep others from inadvertently touching or walking through it.

  • HIV virus dies within hours of exposure to air, but the hepatitis B virus can survive on exposed surfaces in a dried state for at least seven days.

  • Wear rubber gloves to clean up contaminated surfaces, tools, equipment, etc.

  • Use a special germicidal cleaning product or a solution of one-quarter cup bleach in one gallon of water.

  • Be careful not to splash or sling contamination during wiping/cleaning. If necessary, wear safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield.

  • Consider cleaning wipes, gloves, and other disposable items contaminated with waste.

  • Place contaminated wastes into approved biohazard bags (red with the biohazard label) and follow the proper disposal procedures.

    o Do not throw contaminated wastes into the regular trash. 

    o Thoroughly wash your hands after removing your gloves.

    The best protection against blood-borne pathogens is universal precautions!! 


Download flyer: SMOTW_437_BloodbornePathogens(BBP)Hazards.pdf (121.43 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_437_BloodbornePathogens(BBP)Hazards_esp.pdf (125.35 kb)

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