Does Your Employer Meet OSHA Standards?

by SKHC Editor on November 13, 2008

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) bloodborne pathogen standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, requires that employers supply employees with proper instructions, equipment, personal protection equipment (PPE) and disinfectant to safely clean up body fluid spills. This OSHA safety standard applies to employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material.

Does this apply to you? Yes. Whether you’re a school nurse, teacher, a campus security guard, administrative assistant, janitor, work at a daycare center, in a clinic, etc. this applies to you. No matter how crazy, mundane or completely serene your work environment, this applies to you.

OSHA compliance would mean being provided with all the items necessary to properly clean up and dispose of any reasonably anticipated spill. As an employee you must be protected from:

  • Puncture wounds from glass or other sharp objects contaminated with blood
  • Contact or splatter to eyes, nose or mouth
  • Contact to non-intact skin or clothing

The supplies needed to meet these OSHA regulations may be purchased as a biohazard spill kit or as individual items. However, it is usually best practice, more convenient and economical to buy spill kits as a whole instead from a reputable and respected source as opposed to piecing supplies together.

OSHA states that the PPE your employer provides should be based upon an employees reasonably anticipated exposure while performing a task or procedure. However, it is impossible to anticipate or predict the degree of exposure to every possible circumstance or situation that could arise.

Flu season is now upon us and it can and usually does sneak up on someone. What if that someone doesn’t make it to the restroom and now there’s vomit on the classroom or office floor? Whether it’s you or the janitor do you have vomit absorbent?  Let’s say someone has a bad experience in a chemistry lab or technical education class and now there’s blood in more places than you thought possible.  Who is on blood cleanup duty?

Accidents can happen any time. Make sure you and your employer are prepared with an OSHA compliant spill kit and infection control supplies.

Sources: OSHA, Sharps compliance Inc.

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