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Posted on: July 4, 2016 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens may not be a hazard that we face every day on jobsites, but it is important that employees are aware of these hazards and know what to do if they are faced with them.  Bloodborne pathogens are not visible, so employees should take necessary precautions whenever these situations occur.

Bloodborne pathogens are microscopic organisms that are carried in the blood and other bodily fluids that can cause disease to humans.  The types of diseases caused by bloodborne pathogens include hepatitis B and C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  Bloodborne pathogens are usually transmitted when disease organisms enter the body through mucus membranes or breaks in the skin.  It is imperative that employees take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from possible infectious material.

Gribbins Insulation has established an exposure control plan.  This plan is in place to eliminate or minimize employee exposure.  This plan must be updated annually to reflect technological changes that will help eliminate or reduce exposure to blood borne pathogens.  A copy of this program can be found in the Gribbins Insulation Safety Manual.

Always protect yourself by presuming blood and other bodily fluids contain blood borne pathogens.  Using the idea of “Universal Precautions” will reduce your risk of infection.  These precautions include the use of barriers such as, surgical rubber gloves, mouthpieces for CPR, aprons and protective eyewear, which should all be located in First Aid Kits.  These barriers can reduce the risk of exposure to potentially infection materials.  Employees trained in First Aid and CPR should receive training annually on how to protect themselves from possible infectious materials.

If you are exposed to blood or other bodily fluids, immediately wash the area with soap and water and report the exposure to the Safety Department.  If an employee has an occupational exposure, the Hepatitis B vaccine, post exposure evaluation and follow up visit is available to the employee, with no cost to the employee.

Medical records will be kept on all occupational exposures in accordance with CFR 1910.1020.  These records are available to the employee upon request and the transfer of records will only be done with the written consent of the employee.

If you come across blood or any other bodily fluids inform the Owner, General Contractor or Safety Department immediately.  All areas or equipment that have had contact with blood or other bodily fluids shall be cleaned and decontaminated.  All blood or bodily fluid contaminated items shall be placed in closable containers constructed to prevent leakage, red in color and affixed with a red-orange “Biohazard” label.  These containers shall then be disposed of properly.

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