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Guide to Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

Guide to Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

Bloodborne pathogens are microscopic organisms present in human fluids that can cause diseases. Accidental exposure to these pathogens is a serious concern for healthcare, emergency response, and janitorial workers. To prevent unintended contact with bloodborne pathogens, many organizations implement an exposure control plan (ECP) to prevent and manage risks related to bloodborne pathogens.

This guide will provide an overview of bloodborne pathogens and help your organization establish an efficient ECP of your own.

What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

As stated, bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms found in human blood or bodily fluids that cause human disease. Examples of such pathogens include HIV, Hepatitis B and C, malaria, syphilis, and more. These pathogens can be transmitted through blood and bodily fluids like saliva, semen, and other secretions.

Human blood or mucus is often tested to reveal illnesses or conditions. Accidental exposure to these fluids can cause the handler to become ill with whatever disease they were trying to study. ECPs are put in place to limit and prevent these accidental exposures.

What is the Importance of a Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan?

If you anticipate your personnel will interact with bloodborne pathogens, an ECP must be in place. ECPs set standards for storage, testing, hygiene, injection, handling, and disposal of dangerous materials. Also, in the event of an accidental exposure, your staff and organization will have a plan to follow, which can help control the situation and prevent it from worsening.

What Should Your Exposure Control Plan Include?

A sound ECP will primarily focus on steps for preventing accidental exposure. This is achieved through thorough risk assessments to identify inadequacies in your workplace, establishing standard procedures for working with fluids, improving or implementing controls like medical devices, sharp disposal containers, and others, and providing training programs for safe fluid handling.

Unfortunately, accidents still can happen, so your ECP should also establish procedures for accidental exposure. You may also include processes involving spills, leaking or broken containers, and other mishaps in your workplace.

From there, your ECP should be regularly evaluated and updated. If OSHA regulations change, so must your plan, but it may also be wise to review your plan in case of new information or changes within your workplace.

For example, if your ECP has specific instructions based on your workplace’s layout, but you’ve recently renovated your offices, be sure to update the ECP to prevent confusion. It can be helpful to appoint trusted members of your team to a committee and have them regularly review and update your ECP.

Need Help Writing Your Bloodborne Pathogen ECP? Contact PHASE Associates

If your workplace needs a bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan but you’re unsure where to start, contact PHASE Associates. For over 25 years, our proven team of experts has helped companies improve their environmental health and safety protocols – and we can do the same for you. Our experts hold prestigious professional designations like CIH, CSP, CMC, CHMM, and more.

Our Phase Associates team will devise a health and safety program custom-made for your organization. We will ensure that your ECP meets OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 now and into the future for the safety and benefit of you and your employees. Your plan will also meet your organizational health, safety, and wellness standards.

To learn more about our services or to let us help you with your ECP or any other environmental health service, call us at 973-597-0750 or send us a message through our secure online contact form.

Our Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plans are offered to the states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusettes, Rhode Island, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire and Virginia.