Bloodborne pathogens cause a variety of diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Due to increased rates of infection, the risk of exposure is especially high for workers in California.
This course provides information about bloodborne pathogens hazards and safe work practices for workers in California who are likely to be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM) during the course of their duties, including healthcare workers, first-aid responders, janitorial and maintenance personnel at healthcare facilities, and workers who clean areas contaminated with blood or OPIM.
By the end of the course, you will be able to recognize bloodborne pathogen hazards; identify the symptoms of bloodborne diseases and how these diseases are spread; determine your risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace; protect yourself from exposure; follow appropriate postexposure procedures; and apply requirements for working with needles, recording exposure incidents, and conducting postexposure evaluations.
Why “Avoiding Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens in California” Matters:
Nationwide, at least 850,000 people have chronic hepatitis B, and at least 2.7 million people have chronic hepatitis C. In California, over 132,000 people are living with a diagnosed HIV infection. It is not known how many people were infected at work.
Bloodborne pathogens are a significant hazard for employees with occupational exposure to blood or OPIM.
With the proper precautions, workers can minimize their risk of exposure and protect their health.
California law requires employers to train affected workers in the risks and symptoms of bloodborne diseases; the exposure control plan; safe work practices and engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE); information about the hepatitis B vaccination; warning signs and labels; and proper postexposure procedures.
Be aware of the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens at work and the symptoms of the diseases they can cause.
Become familiar with your workplace’s exposure control plan.
Take universal precautions by assuming that all blood or bodily fluid is infected.
Use PPE and engineering controls, and follow safe work practices such as labeling and proper disposal of infectious material.
Report all incidents of possible exposure, and understand your postexposure evaluation rights.