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Other Federal Agency Laws and Programs

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Program:Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard Regulation to reduce or eliminate the possibility of an employee contracting any of a series of diseases that are spread through blood or other potentially infectious materials. In general, the standard contains requirements for development of an exposure control plan, precautions for protecting employees, vaccination, training, record keeping, and handling an exposure incident. It is contained in Part 1910.1030 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations and became fully effective on October 1, 1992. In 2001, in response to the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, OSHA revised the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to require that employers consider and implement safer medical devices (e.g., self sheathing needles) and to involve employees in identifying and choosing these devices. The updated standard also requires employers to maintain a log of injuries from contaminated sharps.

The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires covered employers to do the following:

  1. Write an exposure control plan to determine how exposure to body fluids will be handled. Every job-related task in the school must be evaluated in light of the likelihood of exposure to blood, blood products, and other potentially infectious materials.
  2. Implement the use of universal precautions (e.g., hand washing and use of gloves).
  3. Identify and use engineering controls (e.g., self-sheathing needles).
  4. Write policies that address appropriate work practices that reduce the possibility of exposure.
  5. Provide personal protective equipment, such as gloves or masks.
  6. Offer free HBV vaccination to all employees who are reasonably to come into contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials as a direct result of their responsibilities (e.g., school nurses and physical education instructors).
  7. Make available post-exposure evaluation and follow-up on all occupationally exposed employees who experiences an exposure incident.
  8. Use labels and signs to communicate hazards.
  9. Provide information and training for these employees on bloodborne pathogens, hepatitis B vaccination, medical evaluation, and post exposure follow-up.
  10. Maintain employee medical training records to document compliance with these regulations. Records of employees who have received vaccinations and written refusals of employees to receive vaccinations must be part of the documentation.


Last Updated: February 2012

Last Modified: 03/08/2012