What Is Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
Exposure to bloodborne pathogens can be a life-changing event without proper care. HBV alone has infected over 1 million people in the US, and that's only one disease.
The chances of someone's blood containing a bloodborne illness are higher than anyone should take their chances with. Fortunately, with the right education, we can all protect ourselves, our cohorts, and our communities. Let's talk about what bloodborne pathogens training is and how it can improve the health and safety of your workplace.
What Is Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
These courses were designed for healthcare workers, and they may even count as CEUs toward re-licensure in certain professions. However, bloodborne pathogens training is for anyone that may be exposed to blood as part of their work or personal life. The course will teach you how to properly handle any blood or blood-based fluid, clean it, dispose of it properly, and dispose of the equipment used.
Also, the course is not a college course. It doesn't cost thousands of dollars per person, and it will only take a minimum of 2-3 hours to complete. In the context of saving the health and lives of your employees and volunteers, that's a small investment!
What Does Training Cover?
Essentially, bloodborne pathogens training seeks to educate individuals on how to identify potential blood-based fluids and how to care for and dispose of them properly. This limits everybody's risk of exposure.
Common Bloodborne Pathogens
There are 20 bloodborne pathogens known to cause serious illness in humans, including malaria, HIV, hepatitis, and others. Understanding the infectious nature of these diseases and how to prevent exposure to them is essential in many professions. Without proper training, you and everyone around you are at risk of exposure.
How Pathogens Are Transmitted
Different bloodborne pathogens are transmitted differently, so it's always best to take extra precautions. For example, you may not know of a small open cut on your hand, but that could be enough to transmit a lethal virus to you. Therefore, it's always best to assume the worst and understand the potential risks of transmission.
Workplace Safety Guidelines
Learning the safety protocols and OSHA standards around bloodborne pathogens will create a safer work environment for everyone. Treating all blood as infectious is the only way to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Who Needs Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
By law, OSHA standards require employers to offer bloodborne pathogens training to any staff or volunteers who will be exposed to blood as part of their job. This includes exposure to other potentially infectious materials such as amniotic fluid, semen, breast milk, or other bodily fluids or tissues.
Healthcare workers are easily the most vulnerable profession in this case. No matter what capacity you work in the field, your potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens is higher than in most other professions. Needles, emergency care, and surgery professionals are at the highest risk.
Everybody in a hospital or healthcare facility should have completed bloodborne pathogens training. This includes part-time staff and even volunteers if necessary.
If you work with children, you know that accidents happen. Kids get excited and often hurt as a result, no matter how well-run the program is. In many cases, this exposes staff and other children in the program to blood.
By extension, bloodborne pathogens are a major risk to those in the facility. At least one staff member at each childcare site should have training in bloodborne pathogens, just in case.
We are using this term broadly, so forgive us. If you work with power tools or any type of heavy machinery, there is a lot of risk for workplace accidents. If you have 1,000 employees working in a machine shop, the chances of an accident are high.
For this reason, there should always be somebody on site, preferably in each department, with bloodborne pathogens training. This includes construction teams, factory workers, or anyone working with sharp objects daily
Community Workers and Volunteers
This should include those working with homeless shelters, community food groups, and those struggling with addiction. No matter what capacity you work with disadvantaged communities, your risk of sharps exposure increases dramatically.
Unfortunately, there is a wide spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV among drug users. All it takes is one accidental poke through a trash bag to infect somebody. Learning how to identify and lower these risks is essential for the health of you and your community.
Also, taking this training could be a great way to educate those in your community about these risks. Sharing your knowledge with those who need it most could have a massive effect on public health in your community.
Honestly, if you're interested in helping your community, this is a great place to start. If everybody were trained in bloodborne pathogens, we could slow or stop the spread of horrible diseases spreading around the world. HIV alone has killed over 40 million people in the world, and there is still no cure for it.
Unfortunately, without a vaccine, there is only one way to stop the spread of these diseases; education. If you want to protect yourself and your community from bloodborne pathogens, then take the training for yourself!
Take the Training Today
Now that you know more about bloodborne pathogens training, there's no time to waste. Getting yourself and your staff the training they need could prevent the worst from happening. Nobody wants to think about an accident, but we all need to be prepared when one comes.
Keep reading our blog for our latest workplace safety tips, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!
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