Workplace and Bloodborne Pathogens: The Basics

While an icky topic, it’s important for any workplace to understand the dangers of bloodborne pathogens, how they spread, and how to prevent contracting a bloodborne disease while at work. Most modern workplaces don’t have to deal with bodily fluids (especially blood) all too often. However, pathogens that reside in the blood can be transmitted through even the smallest droplets.

That’s why most individuals that has risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens should complete a bloodborne pathogens training course to protect themselves from contracting bloodborne diseases.

In this article, we’ll talk about how exactly these diseases spread, but first let’s talk about the diseases themselves — what kind of illness could you get from an infected coworker, customer, or hired contractor?

Types of Bloodborne Pathogens

The three bloodborne pathogens that you’re most likely to encounter in the workplace are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS. Given the right setting, these diseases have a high rate of transmission, and can be quite contagious if employees in your workplace don’t adhere to proper safety procedures. Obviously, HIV is a disease that, while much more treatable than it once was, can still wreak devastating damage to a person’s immune system, especially if it goes unnoticed. Hepatitis A and B are nasty diseases in their own right, and both saw their heyday across the United States in decades gone by. In other words: no one wants these diseases. Luckily, they’re easily preventable with the proper precautions.

How Do Bloodborne Pathogens Spread?

These diseases spread mainly through direct contact with infected bodily fluids, which then, in turn, have to make their way into a person’s body to fully infect them. This can occur when:

· Infected bodily fluids enter an open wound

· Fluids penetrate the skin via a needle or infected blade, entering the bloodstream

· Fluids enter the body via mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth

Even if infected fluids make their way into a person’s body, there’s no guarantee that it will grow into a full-fledged case of disease. In many cases, your body’s immune system can reject an infection. However, prevention methods are key to lowering the risk of infection even more. After all, you don’t want to trust that your immune system can fully fight off a disease it’s never come in contact with before.

Preventing the Spread of Bloodborne Pathogens Completing a BBP training you can learn how to prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Here are a few simple rules to follow to help halt the spread of bloodborne pathogens in the workplace.

1. Wash Your Hands

Keeping your hands clean is incredibly important, as soap kills germs, and a dead germ can’t infect you. Wash your hands after coming in contact with commonly-touched surfaces like door handles, phones, and railings.

2. Don’t Touch Your Face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth while at work. It’s a good rule of thumb to just not touch your face at all unless you absolutely have to get that strand of hair out of your face.

3. Don’t Touch Bodily Fluids

If someone bleeds in the workplace, don’t clean it up without using the proper safety equipment. This can include face masks, gloves, and a biohazard suit. It might seem silly to go to those lengths over a paper cut, but all it takes is a single germ in the wrong place to infect you.

Speak Your Mind