If blood or bodily fluids from another person do come into contact with your skin or mucus membranes, you must act immediately. Reporting the incident to your supervisor is the only way to address the possible health consequences from exposure.
- Why is it necessary to immediately report exposure? Although you cannot reverse exposure to bloodborne pathogens, proper measures can prevent the spread of an infection. In some cases, such as with HIV exposure, medications taken within a certain time frame can increase the chances of preventing infection.
- Are results of exposure available immediately? It may be days or weeks before results of an infection are detectable. That’s why it’s necessary to retest at intervals following the initial exposure.
- What is an OSHA Form 300? OSHA requires employees to fill out a Form 300 following an exposure to document and track any potential illnesses the employee encounters on the job and any injuries that follow the incident. Depending on your employer’s preferences, this form may be paper based or electronic. Follow whichever procedures your employer dictates.
- Will an employer provide care for your exposure? Every facility varies in its provision of coverage. If you are unsure about whether your organization provides exposure coverage, speak with your employer because only they have this information. In cases where your employer does offer financial coverage, you may be required to submit to a medical evaluation or submit relevant medical information after an incident.
Who is subject to OSHA regulations?
Everyone who works in an environment where exposure to bloodborne pathogens is a potential risk is subject to OSHA regulations. If you are anywhere near illness or places where bodily fluids are a potential concern, OSHA regulations must be adhered to.