Sample Biology Paper on Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms in human blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), which have the potential of causing diseases such as HBV, HCV, and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the first Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens standard in 1991.The standard was later revised in 2001 as a result of the Needlestick safety and prevention act. The most recent amendment on the bloodborne pathogens standard was done in 2012.The standard stipulates the requirements that employers have to adhere to in order to shield their workers from exposure to blood and OPIM. Health care agencies are regularly inspected by OSHA to facilitate compliance by employers the standard.

Requirements of the Standard

According to OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard of 2012, employers are mandate to adhere to the following:

Written exposure control plan

Employers are required to prepare and categorize lists of potential job descriptions that may lead to employee exposure, along with a list of duties that could lead to exposure an also ensure accessibility of this plan to all employees.

Annual updates

The exposure control plan has to be updated yearly and include possible changes that may be necessary based on employee safety standards evaluation.

Universal precautions

All human blood, bodily fluids and OPIM should be treated as infectious material.


Engineering controls

Involves the use of devices designed to alienate bloodborne pathogen hazards from the work space. Various devices have been designed for these purposes such as the use of sharps disposal containers. These controls have to be updated regularly.

Work practice controls

These controls are practices that reduce the chances of exposure by creating more efficient ways of avoiding or minimizing contact with pathogens that may lead to infections.

Labels and sins to communicate hazards

Containers and storage equipment should be well labelled in a standardized manner to minimize contamination or exposure to contaminated samples or waste.

Protective equipment

These should be provided to all employees facing potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Employers must ensure that all protective equipment are in good working condition.

Hepatitis B vaccination

Vaccination must be administered to employees who have received the bloodborne pathogens training and writing the first 10 days of performing tasks that involve occupational exposure.

Post exposure evaluation and follow up

This should be done at zero cost to the worker involved and must include a clear documentation of events surrounding the exposure. It also involves periodic testing with the workers consent, post exposure prophylaxis and counseling. (Judith Swan, 2017)


Information and Training

Employees should be well informed and trained on all aspects of the standard. They should be informed on blood borne pathogens and diseases and also take part in annual refresher trainings.


Training medical records

All records pertaining to training and exposure should be well documented and maintained.


Recent medical research has led to the development of vaccines and both pre and post exposure prophylaxes that are also used to minimize infections from bloodborne pathogens. A good example is the human immunodeficiency virus which can be mitigated through the use of both Pre and post exposure prophylaxis. Most of the bloodborne pathogens infections however can only be prevented pre exposure through the use of vaccines and precautionary measures as stipulated in the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Continuous clinical research and general medical practices will continue leading to the discovery of more efficient regulations to better the standard the practices it stipulates.



Judith Swan, M. C. (2017). Bloodborne Pathogens Training.

Twithell, K. T. (2003, January). Bloodborne Pathogens. What you need to know- Part 1, pp. 38-45.