Crest for Policies 

Policy E3
Policy Name:  Bloodborne Pathogens
Responsibility for Maintenance: Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety

Date of most recent changes:  June 9, 2011

 I. Policy Statement 

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued a standard to protect all workers exposed to human blood or body fluids as a routine part of their job. This policy will assist Onondaga Community College employees to minimize potential exposure to blood and body fluids, and thus to diseases carried by these fluids.

II. Reason for Policy 

The College is required to comply with applicable requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard set forth at 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1910.1030.1 This policy and the related documents are intended to protect employees from the health hazards associated with Bloodborne Pathogens (e.g., Hepatitis B Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and ensure the availability of appropriate treatment and counseling if an employee is exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens in the course of their employment.

III. Applicability of the Policy 

This policy applies to any employee who would have occupational exposure to Blood or other potentially infectious materials.  

IV. Related Documents 

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Program Exposure Control Plan
  • 29 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1910.1030 – Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

V. Contacts 

Subject  Office Name  Title or Position  Telephone Number  Email/URL 
Bloodborne Pathogen Program Review and Implementation
Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety
(315) 498-2847   [email protected]  

 VI. Definitions 

Term  Definition 
Blood  Human blood, blood components and products made from human blood.
Bloodborne Pathogens  Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human Blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Contaminated  The presence or the reasonably anticipated presence of Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials on an item or surface.
Engineering Controls  Controls (e.g., sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices, such as sharps with engineered sharps injury protections and needleless systems) that isolate or remove the Bloodborne Pathogens hazard from the workplace.
Exposure Incident  A specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials that results from the performance of an employee's duties.
Occupational Exposure  Reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties.
Other Potentially Infectious Materials  (1) The following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with Blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; 
(2) Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and
(3) HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.
Universal Precautions  An approach to infection control. According to the concept of Universal Precautions, all human Blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other Bloodborne Pathogens.
Work Practice Controls  Controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by altering the manner in which a task is performed (e.g., prohibiting recapping of needles by a two-handed technique).

VII. Procedures 

The following is a list of requirements in the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard that are addressed in greater detail in the College’s Exposure Control Plan:

Exposure Control Plan. This is a written plan documenting how the College fulfills the requirements of the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. Copies of the plan are maintained in the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety.

Exposure Determination. Each position code/job title has been evaluated for potential Occupational Exposure to human Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials. Copies of the exposure determination can be reviewed with the Exposure Control Plan.

Methods of Compliance. Each of the following is a method by which to minimize exposure to Blood or body fluids.

Universal Precautions: An approach to infection control which assumes that the Blood, body fluids, and tissues of ALL persons are potentially infectious. Thus, precautions to prevent Exposure Incidents will be used universally without regard to the source.

Engineering Controls: Control measures which isolate or remove the hazard from the workplace including sharps disposal containers and biological safety cabinets.

Work Practice Controls: Controls that reduce the likelihood of an Exposure Incident by altering the manner in which a task is performed such as frequent hand washing and no recapping of needles.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipment which is designed to place a barrier between the employee and the Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials to which he/she may be exposed. The College supplies appropriate protective clothing at no cost to employees. PPE is required to be worn whenever exposure to Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials is possible.

Housekeeping/Waste Disposal: It is everyone’s responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for themselves and others. This includes proper clean-up of Contaminated work areas and proper disposal of Other Potentially Infectious Materials.

Hepatitis B Vaccination: The vaccination is highly recommended for all who have potential occupational exposure to Blood and body fluids.

Labels/Signs: Any materials and equipment which may be Contaminated must be labeled with a biohazard symbol.

Training: Relevant employees will receive training at orientation and annually thereafter.

Post-Exposure Follow-up. In the event of an exposure to Blood or body fluids, contact your supervisor, fill out an incident report, and call the Department of Campus Safety and Security. The circumstance surrounding the exposure will be documented and the employee will receive medical consultation, follow-up, and treatment if necessary, in a timely manner.

 General Guidelines for Controlling Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. 

  1. Treat all human Blood, body fluids and tissue as if it is infected with a Bloodborne Pathogen.
  2. Refrain from physically touching another person’s Blood, fluid or injured tissue. If you have cuts or lesions on your hands, USE GLOVES!
  3. When the potential exists for Blood or body fluid to splash into eyes or face, wear safety glasses and mask.
  4. Do not eat, drink, smoke, apply makeup or handle contact lenses in areas where Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials may be present.
  5. Do not store food where Other Potentially Infectious Materials are stored, such as a refrigerator.
  6. If you spill or splatter Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Material, clean the substance immediately.
  7. Never pick up broken glass Contaminated with Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials with your bare hands. Wear thick leather gloves or use a dust pan and broom.
  8. Remember – the most potentially dangerous route for transmission of HIV and HBV infection is by accidental needle sticks, contamination of the mucous membranes, or through broken, abraded or irritated skin. Use appropriate caution and maximum protection to prevent such contact.
  9. Never recap, clip or bend needles. Dispose of needle/syringe and other sharps immediately after use in a sharps container.
  10. Handle sharp items with safety awareness. Stay focused on the task at hand.
  11. All waste Contaminated with Other Potentially Infectious Materials, Blood, tissue, and fluid should be correctly labeled.
  12. Wash hands and arms thoroughly with soap and water after contacting human Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials, when you change gloves, or your gloves are Contaminated. Similarly, wash any other area of body contact.
  13. Flush mucous membranes with water, immediately following contact with body areas with Other Potentially Infectious Material.
  14. Report every incident involving physical contact to your supervisor. Arrangements for follow up procedures will be made. The health risk will then be assessed and addressed by a health professional.
  15. Personnel responding to an emergency shall not take Contaminated clothing home to launder.

  1 The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard has been adopted by the New York State Commissioner of Labor as an applicable standard for the health and safety of public employees.


Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Updated and approved by the President June 9, 2011