Safe & Sound

BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS (BBP)

biohazard2In light of the recent report that hundreds of patients at a VA dental clinic may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens (BBP), it is important to ensure that employees are aware of the need to practice universal precautions and receive annual training if they are potentially exposed to BBP as part of their job function.

BBP are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans, including, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Occupational exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties. Requirements for compliance and training are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and specified in the OSHA Standard 29 CFR Parts 1910.1030. OSHA states that work with human and non-human primate cell lines is covered by the standard and are considered OPIM.

Universal precautions shall be observed to prevent contact with blood or OPIM. Under circumstances in which differentiation between body fluid types is difficult or impossible, all body fluids shall be considered potentially infectious materials.

At the University of Utah, principal investigators and supervisors are responsible and must ensure that all employees with occupational exposure participate in a BBP training program. Training must be provided at the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place and at least annually thereafter.

The University of Utah offers BBP training through the Research Administration Training Series.  Information on classes can be found here.

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