Blood-borne Pathogens (revisited)
- “Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms present in blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens are at risk for serious or life-threatening illnesses.”
- The OSHA standard also recognizes Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) which would definitely include untreated sewer.
- To understand the potential for exposure.
- Wear the proper PPE such as rubber gloves, tyvek suit, rubber boots, other skin protection, etc.
- Don’t eat/drink/smoke without proper cleanup.
- Vaccinations for Hepatitis B must be offered by the employer.
- Follow up medical evaluation/treatment for possible exposures.
If you elect to decline the Hepatitis B vaccination, you must fill out and sign a release form:
For more information, check out the following document from OSHA:
Recent News on Hepititis C
In August 2012, the CDC published new recommendations that Baby Boomers (born 1945 to 1965) should get tested for Hepetitis C. Apparently, that segment of the population is 5 times more likely to have Hepititis C than the average American. The disease is spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants (generally prior to screening practices in 1992), injected drug use, possibly sexual contact with infected people, and body piercings and tattooing with infected instruments. Hepitits C is a “silent killer” that attacks the liver. Alcohol use is known to accelerate the affects of the disease.