OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

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Author: Terry Jo Gile, MT(ASCP) MA Ed.
Reviewer: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)

This course addresses the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard as it applies to clinical and medical laboratories. Learn about major bloodborne pathogens, including Hepatitis B and HIV. The majority of this course focuses on safety, including proper handling of sharps, personal protective equipment (PPE), use of engineering controls such as microbiological safety cabinets, and proper work practices including handwashing. Use for continuing education credits or required yearly training. Authored by well-known safety expert Terry Jo Gile.

Continuing Education Credits


  • Describe causes and symptoms of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
  • Explain potential risks to healthcare workers from bloodborne pathogens.
  • Identify the proper personal protective equipment for a series of tasks.
  • Explain the use of engineering controls.
  • Explain how to correctly handle sharps.
  • Demonstrate proper hand hygiene procedure.

Course Outline

  • Introduction
      • About This Course
      • You Are At Risk!
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
      • Defining Hepatitis
    • Hepatitis B Virus
      • HBV Exposure
      • HBV Transmission
      • HBV Incubation Period
      • Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
      • Warning! Treat All Materials as Infectious
    • Hepatitis C Virus
      • HCV Transmission
      • HCV Infection
    • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
      • HIV Exposure
      • HIV Transmission
      • HIV Infection
    • Summary of HBV, HCV, and HIV
      • Summary of HBV, HCV, and HIV
      • Which of the following is NOT classified as a bloodborne pathogen?
  • Introduction to OSHA
      • Occupational Exposure Standard
      • Components of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
      • The Exposure Control Plan
  • Preventive Measures
      • Preventive Measures
      • The Hepatitis B Vaccination
      • HCV Testing and Treatment
      • HIV Prevention
      • Standard Precautions
      • Which of the following is a vaccine-preventable infection?
  • Methods of Control
      • Methods of Control
      • Engineering Controls
      • Work Practice Controls
      • Acquiring an infection as a result of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens can be prevented by taking which of the following precautions?
    • Sharps
      • Sharps
      • Needles, Safety Needles, and Needleless Systems
      • Sharps Safety Summary
    • Specimens and Containers
      • Handling Specimens
      • Transporting Specimens
      • Labeling and Color-Coding Specimen Containers for Storage and Transport
    • Housekeeping
      • Housekeeping
      • Small Surface Spills
      • Broken Glassware
    • Contaminated Wastes
      • Contaminated Wastes
      • Contaminated Sharps
      • Biohazard Labeled Bags
      • Contaminated Laundry
    • Labeling
      • Labeling
      • Labeling not Required
  • Personal Protective Equipment
      • PPE and the OSHA Standard
      • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Gloves
      • Gloves Requirements
      • Gloves Requirements, cont.
    • Face and Eye Protection
      • Face and Eye Protection
    • Garments Worn as PPE
      • Garments Worn as Personal Protective Equipment
      • Which of the following would NOT offer sufficient facial protection if splashes or sprays of blood or other potentially infectious materials may occur...
      • Which of the following are considered engineering controls?
  • Hand Hygiene
      • Importance of Hand Hygiene
      • Handwashing Procedure
      • Antiseptic Hand Cleanser
  • Post-Exposure Follow-Up
    • Exposure Incidents
      • Exposure Incident
      • If an Exposure Occurs
    • Avoiding Exposure
      • Avoiding Exposure
      • What should you do if you accidentally stick your finger with a contaminated needle?
  • Ebola Virus
      • Protecting Against Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus
      • Ebola Treatment
      • Clinical laboratory personnel who perform processing and testing of specimens from patients suspected of Ebola virus infection should work in a certif...
  • COVID-19
      • Protecting Against Exposure to COVID-19
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience: Healthcare personnel and other professional personnel whose occupations involve the potential of exposure to bloodborne pathogens
Author Information:  Terry Jo Gile, MT(ASCP)MA Ed has over 45 years experience as a certified medical technologist. She has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a master's degree in Education from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. For 20 years she was a member of the management team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital Department of Laboratories in St. Louis, Missouri, and served as the Safety Officer as well as a laboratory safety consultant to the BJC Health System. Terry Jo headed her own consulting firm, Safety Lady, LLC, for 27 years. In that capacity, she lectured and consulted worldwide on the proper implementation of safety programs in clinical laboratories.
Reviewer Information: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP) has over 40 years of experience in the medical laboratory profession as a technologist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. She was an Inspection and Technical Specialist for nine years with the College of American Pathologists in the Laboratory Accreditation Program and, until her retirement in 2015, was Program Director for MediaLab, Inc. Barbara holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University.

This course is part of:
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Sharps container
Handwashing with soap.
Cartoon Image: blood drop
Cartoon Image: exposure control plan