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Bloodborne Pathogens: OSHA Regulations

Do you know how to protect yourself from bloodborne pathogens? These are disease-causing germs carried in blood and other body fluids. You can protect yourself by using universal precautions when helping an injured person. Or when cleaning up after an accident. These precautions mean treating all blood and body fluids as if they're infectious. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created regulations on bloodborne pathogens. They're meant to protect employees from diseases spread by blood or body fluids at work.

Universal precautions are procedures that can help you avoid dangerous diseases. These diseases could infect you and spread to your loved ones.

Know the OSHA regulations

OSHA regulations state that:

  • If you're exposed to blood or body fluids while on the job, you can be exposed to bloodborne pathogens.

  • Anyone's blood or body fluids may carry germs, even someone you know well. Following universal precautions can help protect you. You should assume that all blood and body fluids have infectious germs.

Know your employer's safety plan

Your employer will have a plan for using universal precautions and applying OSHA regulations in different situations. Only your employer can create the specific guidelines for your job. Learn your employer's plan. Know what guidelines apply to you.

Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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