Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms present in blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.
OSHA requires employers to protect employees who can reasonably be anticipated to come into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) such as unfixed human tissues and certain body fluids.
While most employers associate exposure to bloodborne pathogens with healthcare workers, there are many other occupations, including first aidteam members, housekeeping personnel in some industries, and various other workers who may be at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The standard at 1910.1030 applies to all occupational exposures (as defined) in general industry.
Occupational exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or OPIM that may result from the performance of an employee's duties. Note: This term does not include Good Samaritan acts.
The standard defines parenteral as "piercing mucous membranes or the skin barrier through such events as needlesticks, human bites, cuts, and abrasions."
In general, the standard requires employers to:
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