Bloodborne pathogen training (BBP) is an OSHA facilities requirement under 29CFR
1910.1030 and should be done every
year, either through an online training format or an in person class. The
broad range of BBP and the possible
ways of transmission make this important at every level from cage wash
attendant to supervisor.
OSHA’s standard prescribes safeguards to protect workers from exposure to blood and other potentially
infectious material and to reduce their
risk from this exposure. OSHA standards refer to pathogens
present in human blood, but in the lab animal world this also
includes non-human primates, tissue collection, dental procedures, contaminated sharps disposal, and any other task that
that includes touching potentially infectious materials.
The types of BBP required by OSHA training must include
Hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV. Lab animal BBP training
also should include Brucellosis, malaria, and herpes B. It is
assumed in the lab animal field that all macaques, especially
Rhesus monkeys, are infected with the herpes B virus.
Transmission of any of these BBP can be from needle sticks,
cuts from contaminated objects or other accidental puncture,
contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), and
contaminated fluids (blood, saliva, urine) entering through a
cut or abraded skin. Even getting splashed by contaminated
fluids could cause an infection.
Compliance control methods include proper PPE, universal
precautions, and good work practice controls. Good personal
hygiene, such as washing hands frequently and cleaning a
wound for at least 15 minutes with soap and water, is still the
best way to reduce or prevent risk of exposure.
Every area that has a risk of exposure to BBP needs an
Exposure Control Plan, as covered in OSHA Instruction
CPL 2-2.44E and 29CFR 1910.1030(c)(1)(i). It must include
a written plan that is reviewed annually, accessible to all
employees, and includes written instructions on how to deal
with exposure. Some items of importance are Bite/Scratch
kits and a BBP Exposure Plan Checklist. It needs to include
injury logs, treatment and follow-up instructions, training logs,
tasks, changes, employee positions, and exposure incidents.
Bite/Scratch kit content suggestions can be found on many
academic and safety websites and should be appropriate to
each location. The California Code of Regulations site also has
directions for plans and bite kits.
PPE should be worn at all times
and be removed promptly after
use and before touching non-con-taminated items and work surfaces. PPE must be disposed of
properly as contaminated waste
and that waste also disposed of
as hazardous waste. PPE should
include gloves, gowns or jump-suits, face shields, eye protection,
mask, head protection, and foot
protection and should be appropriate to the area.
Universal precautions is the name given to an infection control system that requires staff to handle all blood or OPIM
(Other Potentially Infectious Material) as potentially infectious for HIV, hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens. It is intended to prevent parenteral, mucous membrane,
and non-intact skin exposures to blood or OPIM.
WORK PRACTICE CONTROLS
Work practice controls are the primary methods used to control
transmission of BBP. They include but are not limited to sharps
disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices, and good work practices. Good work practices include no
food, drink or smoking in work areas, not bending or breaking
sharps, not using hands to pick up broken glass or contaminated objects, and washing hands with soap and water every time
gloves are removed or when leaving area.
Like all regulated waste, BBP waste must be placed in closeable, leak-proof containers appropriately labeled and stored.
In summary: Always know what you are working with.
Always wear the appropriate PPE. Always wash your hands
after removing gloves. Always report any suspected exposures.
To view the Additional Reading for this article, go to
Cheryl Pater, BS, RVT, RLATG, CMAR, is a Training/Safety
Specialist at the University of California, Davis. She has over 30
years of work experience in veterinary private practice and biomedical research and is an active member of LAMA, LAWTE,
AALAS, NAVTA, CVMA, SLAVT, and SV AALAS. She also runs
CP Consulting, which delivers expertise and experience to ensure
that projects comply with all industry and legal standards. email@example.com.
Bloodborne Pathogens in the Lab Animal