Bloodborne Pathogens Training FAQs

Bloodborne Pathogens Training Frequently Asked Questions:
What are bloodborne pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens, BBPs, are microorganisms that can find their way into our bloodstream. More specifically, these microorganisms can be transferred from one person to another through blood to blood contact. To be “bloodborne” means that they are carried and transmitted by blood. The microorganisms that are being carried are the pathogens, which refers to a bacterium or virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease. To be very specific, BBPs are microorganisms that enter our blood stream and cause life-threatening diseases.
What are common diseases caused by BBP?
There are several diseases that may be caused by bloodborne pathogens. Many of these diseases or infections may even be deadly. Some common, serious illnesses that are caused by BBPs include:
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Hepatitis C
• HIV
• AIDS
• Syphilis
• Malaria
Why is it important for us to be trained in BBPs?
Whether or not you think so, bloodborne pathogens can affect you in any work field. You don’t have to be a nurse or a doctor to come in contact with human blood. Accidents can happen on any worksite, whether it is dealing with a cut or scrape, or something more fatal, there are many instances in which you could come in physical contact with another person’s blood. Coming in contact with infected blood paves the way for BBPs to enter your bloodstream and give you the same illness that is present in that infected blood. It is important to be trained on BBPs and the effects of them, in order to prevent yourself and those around you from getting sick. Safety is the number one priority in any workplace, and that includes being safe from things you can’t see, as well as things you can.
How often do I need BBP training?
If you are going to be doing a job that may cause you to be exposed to blood, you need training before starting that job. Additionally, you should be trained before any other jobs that involve sharps. After your initial training, you should be trained at least annually thereafter, as well as whenever changes are made to the job site that could cause changes in potential exposure.
My trainee scored 80% on the exam. Did he pass or fail?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not dictate what a passing score entails. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to be safely aware of the effects of bloodborne pathogens. If you want to pass him at 80%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 20% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.
I received bloodborne pathogens training at a different job. Do I need to be trained again by my new employer?
This is a common question, especially among laborers-for-hire who may sub out from job to job. Technically, it is your current employer who is responsible for saying whether or not you have been trained specifically for the type of job that may expose you to bloodborne pathogens. For example, if you bring a certificate or wallet card to your new employer, they do not have to accept it. It is their right to require you to take their own training class. This is because if there is an accident, they will likely be responsible and need to prove to OSHA that they trained you on all operations and bloodborne pathogens.