News & Information Blog

Ingenious Idea for Bloodborne Pathogens Issue

By Susen Trail | 05/13/2018

Do you have a Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan or an Exposure Plan?

Exposure Plans state that mouth pipetting/suctioning of blood or other potentially infectious materials, OPIM, is prohibited. For businesses that don't pipette blood this sentence is proof of a violation of 1910.1030(c)(2) which requires the employer to identify all the ways an employee is exposed to blood or OPIM.

Exposure Control Plans identify employees who are at risk of exposure during the course of performing their job duties. The sections for engineering, safe work practice, and administrative controls reflect careful and intelligent steps to reduce or eliminate that exposure.

During my years enforcing OSHA standards my favorite engineering control is for clearing a toilet clogged and too obscured to know if it contains blood or not.

It covers all the bases:

  1. Contain the source of exposure
  2. Deal with the problem
  3. Decontaminate
  4. Dispose
  5. Check yourself for splashes

The storage closet has a bucket with a bottle of bleach and a roll of clear plastic trash bags, and a plunger. The custodian breaks a hole in the sealed end of the bag, puts the handle through the hole and the bag down over the bowl to control splashes.

A plastic trash bag as an engineering control, ingenious!

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