OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) is designed to protect workers who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens like Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus and HIV. We often get questions from clients about this standard.

Here’s a quick FAQ article to keep you current.

1. What does the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) require?

The standard requires employers to:

  • Establish an exposure control plan,
  • Use universal precautions and controls to reduce the potential for exposure,
  • Offer Hepatitis B vaccinations to certain employees,
  • Provide post-exposure evaluation,
  • Use labels and signs to communicate the hazard and
  • Train employees

2. What is an Exposure Control Plan?

The exposure control plan is a written document intended to minimize or reduce employee exposures to bloodborne pathogens. The plan should include a list of job classifications where workers may be exposed, along with tasks or procedures performed by those workers that may result in exposure.

3. Our company offers voluntary first aid training. Do we have to offer the Hepatitis B vaccine to all employees who take this training?

The vaccine does not have to be offered to employees who voluntarily participate in first aid training if they are not required to do so as part of their job responsibilities. However, employees who are assigned medical or first aid duties as their primary job function (such as on-site medical staff) are covered by the Bloodborne Pathogens standard and must be offered a Hepatitis B vaccine.

4. What are the waste disposal requirements? For example, can I throw paper towels with dried blood on them in the regular trash?

Waste that could release liquid, semi-liquid blood, or infectious material must be placed in closeable, leak-proof containers and properly labeled with an orange or red biohazard symbol. If it is determined that waste does not have the potential to release infectious material (such as used band-aids or hygiene products), it may be disposed in a regular trash can.

5. How should I disinfect the floor or equipment after an injury?

After the spill has been cleaned according to your company’s procedure, pour a diluted bleach solution (10% bleach, 9-parts cold water with 1-part bleach) over the contaminated surface or equipment and let it sit for 20 minutes. When it’s time to wipe it up, wear gloves and use disposable cleaning materials, such as paper towels, then place the gloves and paper towels in a plastic trash bag and seal it. Double bag the trash before disposing of it. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning up.

Any non-disposable cleaning materials (such as scrub brushes or mops) should be soaked in the bleach solution for 20 minutes and allowed to air dry.