OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen

Updated July 28, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, OSHA BBP Standard, was promulgated in 1991.The standard was issued to protect employees from occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including but not limited to, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).  The regulation requires that employers have a written Exposure Control Plan (ECP) and that employees with occupational exposures to human materials understand how to prevent on-the-job exposures, be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine, and receive training prior to the start of any work, and annual re-training thereafter. Contact your Principal Investigator (PI) or supervisor to find out if your lab or group is included in the program.

Each lab or group with an occupational exposure must have an Exposure Control Plan and received training on their Exposure Control Plan (ECP).  Click here for a copy of the generic ECP to customize[Word Document- 116k]. or to see a copy of the generic ECP as a PDF [46k].
The steps involved in the development of an ECP and participation in the OSHA BBP Program are outlined below.


Steps

Research: Principal Investigator

Non-research: MIT Supervisors

1. Risk Assessment & Job Analysis

Risk assessment: research involving the use of human blood, cells, tissues, organs, or cell lines regardless of testing for HIV & HBV (because of the potential for exposure to adventitious or unknown agents)
Please note that COUHES approval is required prior to initiation of any research with human blood or tissues where the donor is identifiable.

The employee job description, responsibilities and functions, are used to make an assessment of potential exposures to human blood, tissues, organs, contaminated sharps or contaminated wastes and whether this potential exposure can be reasonably anticipated as part of the job.

2. Control Risk: Develop an Exposure Control Plan (ECP)

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for developing a written plan that (1) identifies those aspects of the research that present risk of exposure to human materials and (2) outlines the way exposures to potentially infectious materials will be controlled. Exposures will be controlled through the use of personal protective equipment, procedures and equipment. The Biosafety Program (BSP) has a generic ECP that is available via the web. PI's are expected to download this and tailor the generic ECP to their particular research project. The ECP must identify responsible individuals, where equipment is located, how it is to be used, and what to do in case of an exposure.
Investigators may contact BSP for help or questions.

The supervisor is responsible for developing the ECP which outlines the way exposures to potentially infectious materials will be controlled. Exposures will be controlled through the use of personal protective equipment and procedures.  Supervisors are expected to download the ECP and fill-in the appropriate information. The ECP must identify responsible individuals, where equipment is located, how it is to be used, and what to do in case of an exposure.
Supervisors should contact BSP if they need help or have questions.

3. Review and Approval of ECP

BSP reviews the draft ECP from step 2, and recommends changes or clarifications. Once these have been incorporated into the ECP, BSP will approve the ECP. The approved ECP is used as the basis for the subsequent training session (step 4).

BSP reviews the draft ECP from step 2, and recommends changes or clarifications. Once these have been incorporated into the ECP, BSP will approve the ECP. The approved ECP is used as the basis for the subsequent training session (step 4).

4. Training and information

All investigators, students and lab employees that will work with human materials must attend a training session at which the research risks and contents of the ECP are explained, discussed and questions answered. Attendance at one of these sessions is required before the HBV vaccine can be offered. This session should take place before individuals begin work with human materials.

All at risk employees must attend a training session at which the contents of the ECP are explained, discussed and questions answered. Attendance at one of these sessions is required before the HBV vaccine can be offered. This session must take place before individuals begin work that involves potential exposure to human materials.

5. HBV Vaccination

Part of the training and information session outlined in step 4 is an explanation of the MIT HBV vaccination program. A form must be filled out at the session indicating whether the vaccination has been accepted or declined. Copies of these forms are forwarded to MIT Medical. The vaccinations are free of charge. Individuals may decline the vaccine, then change their minds and receive the vaccine free of charge at any time.
Please contact the Biosafety Program at (617) 452-3477 or bsp@mit.edu

Part of the training and information session outlined in step 4 is an explanation of the MIT HBV vaccination program. A form must be filled out at the session indicating whether the vaccination has been accepted or declined. Copies of these forms are forwarded to MIT Medical. The vaccinations are free of charge. Individuals may decline the vaccine, then change their minds and receive the vaccine free of charge at any time.
Please contact the Biosafety Program at (617) 452-3477 or bsp@mit.edu

6. Annual ECP Renewal & Retraining

The OSHA BBP Standard requires that the ECP be reviewed and updated if necessary on an annual basis. Individuals covered by this standard must receive annual re-training. This re-training can be arranged by contacting BSP at (617) 452-3477.

The OSHA BBP Standard requires that the ECP be reviewed and updated if necessary on an annual basis. Individuals covered by this Standard must receive annual re-training. This re-training can be arranged by contacting BSP (617) 452-3477.