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Bloodborne Pathogens

Overview

RIT has developed a Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Program to ensure the protection of faculty, staff and students, who put themselves at a reasonable risk of coming into contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria that are carried in blood and/or bodily fluids and can cause disease in people; including hepatitis B and C and human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B (HBV) and HIV can be transmitted through contact with infected human blood or other potentially infectious body fluids such as:

  • Semen;
  • Vaginal secretions;
  • Cerebrospinal fluid;
  • Synovial fluid;
  • Pleural fluid;
  • Peritoneal fluid;
  • Amniotic fluid; and
  • Any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood including urine.

Employees must sign either: the HBV Shot Declination Form if they do not want to receive the HBV shot series, or if they have previously had the shots; or the HBV Shot Authorization Request Form if they would like to receive the HBV shot series. Please download and complete the appropriate form.  Return the signed form to the RIT Environmental Health & Safety Department.

Applicable Regulation

29 CFR 1910.1030

Management Requirements

RIT must establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure and ensure that:

  • Information and training are provided to those who will likely be exposed;
  • Hepatitis B vaccinations are offered to those who will likely be exposed;
  • Protective measures in the work environment are instituted;
  • Exposures are reported to ensure that proper medical evaluation and treatment can be provided; and
  • "Universal Precautions" procedures are followed ("Universal Precautions" is the infection control approach in which all blood and body fluids are treated as if they are infected and the necessary precautions are taken).

The Exposure Control Plan will be reviewed annually and whenever necessary to:

  • reflect new or modified tasks and procedures which affect occupational exposure; and
  • reflect new or revised employee positions with occupational exposure.

Exemptions

RIT is not required to offer the vaccine to workers who provide first aid as a secondary job duty. A secondary job duty is one that is done on an "as needed" basis and is not the individual's primary job function.

Training Requirements

All RIT employees who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens through job tasks or laboratory experience will be provided comprehensive training in order to acquire the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for the safe performance of their duties.

Training shall be provided to each affected RIT employee at the time of initial assignment to tasks where exposure may take place and at least annually thereafter.

The training covers:

  • A general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne diseases;
  • An explanation of the modes of transmission of bloodborne pathogens;
  • Information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of personal protective equipment;
  • Information on the hepatitis B vaccine, including information on its efficacy, safety, method of administration, the benefits of being vaccinated, and that the vaccine and vaccination will be offered free of charge;
  • Information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials; and
  • An explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including post exposure evaluation and follow-up.

Employees that are assigned to perform blood clean ups will need to take two courses: "Bloodborne Pathogens" and "Procedure for Blood Clean Up."  Links to the on-line version of these courses can be find on the right side of this webpage, under Popular Links. 

Contact the RIT Environmental Health and Safety Department with any questions at (585) 475-2040.