Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

  • Requires employers of workers who may be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials, such as certain tissues and body fluids, to provide safeguards to protect workers against health hazards related to bloodborne pathogens. Provisions include exposure control plans, engineering and work practice controls, hepatitis B vaccination, hazard communication and training, and recordkeeping.
  • Applies to all workers with occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials such as saliva during dental procedures and other body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids (e.g., synovial, pericardial, urine, feces).
  • Requires the use of Universal Precautions, an approach to infection control in which workers treat all human blood and certain human body fluids as if they are known to be infectious, to protect against pathogens.

In 1996, CDC recommended the term and use of Standard Precautions, which includes hand hygiene, the use of certain types of PPE based on anticipated exposure, safe injection practices, and safe management of known or suspected to be infectious patients. (See OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens – Worker Protections against Occupational Exposure to Infectious Diseases).

Page last reviewed: April 28, 2022