XII. Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure

Control Plan Guidelines

Many injuries occurring in the workplace often require the employer or employees to provide immediate care. In doing so there are potential health risks of being exposed to and being contacted by harmful materials contained in infected human blood. To protect workers from these exposures, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard was issued to reduce the occupational transmissions of infections. Logging operations must comply with the standard.

Many injuries occurring on logging jobs require an employee or the employer to be exposed to and to be contacted by potentially infected human blood and other infectious sources during the course of treatment. Therefore, loggers shall establish an exposure control plan to minimize and to prevent employee exposures to disease causing materials transmitted through human blood.

The basic Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan guidelines are:

  1. A written exposure control plan shall be established for all employees who may be or are exposed to blood and other potentially infectious materials as part of their job duties.
  2. The plan shall be maintained at a designated location on the jobsite and readily accessible for review by any employee. A plan copy may be obtained by an employee within fifteen (15) days of the request.
  3. The plan shall be administered by a designated person.
  4. The plan shall be reviewed at least annually and updated as needed.
  5. Training sessions shall be conducted annually.
  6. Training records shall include:
    a. Names and qualifications of training session instructor.
    b. Names and job titles of all persons attending the training session.
    c. Training records shall be maintained for three (3) years from date on which training session occurred.
    d. Training records shall be available upon request by all authorized persons, employees, and employee representatives for examination and copying.
  7. Personal protective items shall be used during and while performing first aid procedures.
    a. Use a rescue breather with a barrier against bloodborne pathogens when performing artificial respiration or CPR.
    b. Use disposable rubber gloves when hand contact with a victim's blood or saliva is possible or expected.
  8. Gloves shall be properly disposed of immediately after use.
  9. Hands and any body area contacted by blood or other potentially infectious sources shall be washed immediately or as soon as possible.
  10. Vaccinations for "Hepatitis B" shall be made available at no cost to the employee and at a reasonable place and time to any employee who has had an occupational exposure.
  11. Any employee choosing not to take the "Hepatitis B" vaccination must sign a declination statement.
  12. Post exposure evaluation and follow up procedures shall be established to evaluate an employee's health following an exposure incident.
    a. Employer must document the exposure route and circumstances in which the incident occurred along with identification and documentation of the source individual.
    b. Blood from the source individual and employee shall be collected and tested.
    c. Medically indicated prophylaxis shall be administered to the employee free of charge.
    d. Employee counseling regarding the test results shall be available free of charge to employee.
    e. An evaluation of reported illnesses in the weeks following the exposure incident shall be documented.
  13. Employer shall maintain a medical record for each employee whose job involves occupational exposures to blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  14. Medical records shall include the employee's name, social security number, copy of employee's "Hepatitis B" vaccination status, medical opinions and evaluations, test results, and details about exposure incidents.
  15. Medical records shall be maintained for duration of employment plus thirty (30) years. It is important logging contractors comply with this standard to avoid penalty by OSHA or appropriate regulatory authority. Most important of all is to provide protection for the health and well being of all employees. Contact your applicable state and Federal regulatory offices for more details of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and its requirements.