Could you contract a disease at work? What if someone sneezes on you? Or using a tool with dried blood? Or cleaning Restrooms? The simple answer is YES! This is why we are going to learn about Bloodborne Pathogens. A bloodborne pathogen is a disease producing bacteria or microorganism. OSHA defines a bloodborne pathogen as a pathogenic microorganism present in human blood that can lead to disease. There are many disease carrying pathogenic microorganisms that are covered by the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard; however, the most common and those of primary concern are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV).
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV):
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV):
Potentially Infectious Bodily Fluids are the bodily fluids that you are most likely to encounter in the workplace like blood, saliva, vomit, or urine. If blood is not present in a bodily fluid, bloodborne pathogens cannot be present. Remember, sometimes the blood may be present in microscopic quantities and difficult to see with the naked eye. To be safe, you must assume that all bodily fluids are contaminated with infectious blood. This is called universal precautions. We will discuss this in further detail later.
Bloodborne pathogens can only be transmitted to you if you physically make contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluid containing blood. Even then, your healthy skin is an excellent barrier to bloodborne pathogens. The contaminated blood or bodily fluid can enter your body through mucous membranes such as your eyes, mouth, or nose. If your skin is not intact at the point of contact with the contaminated blood or bodily fluid, the bloodborne pathogen could potentially be transmitted. Examples of non-intact skin include: dermatitis, hangnails, cuts, abrasions, acne, etc.
Obviously, a contaminated sharp, such as a needle or broken glass, could potentially transmit bloodborne pathogens because of the penetration of the skin.
The Bloodborne Pathogens standard requires employers to identify the jobs, tasks, and activities that could expose employees to potentially infected blood or bodily fluids. Exposure could occur when near someone who is involved in an industrial accident. Obviously, when administering first aid to someone who is bleeding, you are potentially exposed. Employees expected to clean up work surfaces, equipment, or machinery after an accident are also potentially exposed. Janitorial workers are potentially exposed when cleaning up urine, vomit, sanitary napkins, etc. Maintenance workers might potentially be exposed when repairing the plumbing on a toilet.
This is why you always want to use the Universal Precautions Concept – TREAT ALL BLOOD AND BODILY FLUIDS AS IF THEY ARE CONTAMINATED. Always wear appropriate PPE when handling any type of bodily fluid. Universal precautions require adequate cleanup and decontamination of yourself, equipment, and tools. Always wash your hands after handling any type of bodily fluid, even when wearing gloves.
Safe Work Practices: Remove contaminated clothing or PPE as soon as possible. If blood were to splash onto your shoes, pants, or shirt, remove those items as soon as possible. Wash your skin in the area underneath the clothing that was contaminated with the bodily fluid. Remove contaminated PPE, such as gloves, as soon as you are done administering first aid or decontaminating equipment or work surfaces. Cleaning/disinfecting tools, work surfaces, or equipment will prevent the next user from unknowingly coming into contact with potentially infected bodily fluids. Thoroughly wash your hands, face, or any other areas of your skin that may have come into contact with bodily fluids. If you believe that blood or other potentially contaminated bodily fluid was splashed into your eyes, immediately go to an emergency eyewash station and flush your eyes. Properly disposing of contaminated items in appropriately labeled bags or containers will help prevent someone from accidentally being exposed.
Hepatitis B Vaccination: The use of the HBV vaccine is strongly endorsed by medical, scientific, and public health communities as a safe and effective way to prevent disease and death. There is no confirmed evidence that indicates the HBV vaccine can cause chronic illness. Reports of unusual illnesses following a vaccine are most often related to other causes and are not related to the vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccination is a series of three injections that are effective in preventing infection with hepatitis B. Currently, there is no requirement for routine boosters; however, this is still being assessed. Any employee that rendered first aid in a situation involving the presence of blood or other potentially infectious material, whether or not a specific exposure occurred, will be offered the full immunization series. This vaccination is paid for by the employer. If you decline the hepatitis B vaccination, you will be asked to sign a form that states you waived your opportunity to receive the vaccination. However, even if you sign the form now, you may still change your mind later and accept the vaccination. The form basically states that at this time you do not want to have the shots. The language on the declination form is straight out of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard.
Confined Space: an area not designed for human habitation that contains hazards to human health and safety, and has limited access in and out. There are two types of confined spaces, permit required and non-permit required. Permit required confined spaces require specially trained personnel to enter them. There must be a trained rescue team standing by, a safety hoist to pull the person out, and other requirements. No one at this site has had that kind of training, and entry into a permit required confined space is prohibited. Permit required confined spaces are marked with the words “Confined Space”. Non-permit required confined spaces may be entered by site personnel if correct lockout / tagout procedures are used. An example would be behind the blade of a collection vehicle. The engine must be shut down, the key removed, parking brake set and master switch set to the off position before entering.
Definition: A confined space is an area that is not designed for human habitation, may contain hazards to human health and safety, has limited access in and out, or may contain a hazardous atmosphere.
Confined spaces come in two basic types, permit required and non-permit required. Management must perform an evaluation of each confined space, and the space identified as permit required or not. A permit required confined space means that if anyone enters the space, a trained rescue team must be standing by and the atmosphere in the confined space must be tested prior to entry. A permit must also be filled out.
The confined spaces at our sites consist of the following:
Space permit required non-permit required
Inside a compactor **
Storm drains **
Fuel tanks **
Sewer lift stations **
Trenches (deeper than 4 feet) **
When entering a non-permit required confined space, proper lockout / tagout procedures must still be used. This means if there are any possible energy sources or stored energy they must first be removed.
Anyone found entering a permit required confined space without authorization and proper training may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Lockout / Tagout: The act of locking out the potential hazard associated with a piece of machinery or area, and tagging the machinery to notify the machine operator that the machine or equipment has been locked out.
Maintenance personnel are required to maintain locks and locking devices for use in lockout / tagout procedures. The locks used must be unique in both appearance and function. This means that only the mechanic that owns the lock should have a key to his lock, and the lock must look different from other locks used at the site. Other forms of lockout include the use of wheel chocks, jack stands, and safety braces under raised blades and raised truck bodies, allowing the engine to cool before working on it, and relieving pressure on hydraulic systems before performing work on the unit. Tagout devices should be warning tags or steering wheel covers that alert the operator not to use the equipment.
It is illegal for anyone except the mechanic/driver that installed it, to attempt to remove a lockout or tagout device from a piece of equipment.
LOCKOUT / TAGOUT TRAINING (LOTO)
Lock-out- Physically placing a lock or locking device onto a piece of machinery or equipment to prevent the accidental energizing of said equipment, usually while maintenance is being performed.
Tag-out- Placing a warning tag or steering wheel covers on the locked out equipment to notify others that the equipment is locked out.
Lockout device: a lock used by an authorized employee to disable a piece of machinery or equipment. This lock must be unique, both in appearance (color) and the keying (each mechanic must have his own lock and key that only his key fits).
Only the employee (or the employee’s immediate supervisor) that installs a lockout device may remove the device. It is illegal for anyone else to attempt to remove the lock. This is to protect the mechanic that may be working on the equipment.
Other forms of lockout include, but are not limited to the following:
*Wheel chocks *Cylinder braces *Vehicle body braces
*Jack stands *Allowing time for engine parts to cool
Body / tailgate braces, and wheel chocks are required whenever a vehicle is being worked on in the shop.
LOCKOUT/TAGOUT PROCEDURES FOR DRIVERS
1. Park Truck on level surface
2. Engage parking break
3. Turn off Engine
4. Remove key and put it in your pocket
5. Kill battery
6. Notify anyone that may be around your vehicle
LOCKOUT/TAGOUT PROCEDURES FOR MECHANICS
Lockout/Tagout procedures for mechanics must be equipment specific and each employee must be able to show competent knowledge of the procedure for each type of equipment.
In 1984, an industrial disaster happened at a Union Carbide plant in Bophal, India. This tragedy took the lives of 3000 people. This event resulted in the Federal Government passing what is known as the OSHA Hazard Communication laws, or more commonly known as “Right to Know”.
This program comes in several topics, such as Community Right to Know, Employee Right to Know, and container labeling. This training will address Employee Right to Know and container labeling.
Employee Right to Know means that as an employee, you have the right to know the safety information that is applicable to the products and chemicals used and stored at your place of employment. This information is made available to you in the form of an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), which is the safety data of a material. These can be found at the MSDS Book, which are located at various places around the shop and in each site trailer. Your supervisor can show you where your sites MSDS’s books or help you obtain a specific MSDS.
Each MSDS sheet contains 9 sections:
1) Product identification. It tells you who makes it and the products name.
2) The chemical ingredients.
3) The physical & chemical properties, such as the specific gravity, boiling point, appearance and odor, and melting point.
4) The fire and explosion data, such as what type of extinguisher to use, and the flash point. Any flashpoints less than 115 degrees are considered flammable.
5) The protective precaution. This is where you find the personal protective equipment needed to work safely with the product.
6) The health hazards associated with the product and the first aid procedures in case you are over exposed to the product.
7) The reactivity data. This is whether the product will react with other materials to cause a fire, explosion, or gas. This tells you what not to mix it with.
8) How to store the product.
9) The transportation procedures.
It is our policy to always read the MSDS sheet information prior to using a new product, or before using a product that you have never used before. Knowing and using the information contained within the MSDS ahead of time can prevent you from being injured.
There are two kinds of containers, permanent and temporary. A permanent container comes from a manufacturer, and has a label on it that gives you information on the product. A temporary container is an un-marked container. Temporary containers are illegal. All containers in the workplace must be labeled. If you see a container, including drums and storage tanks that are not labeled, contact your supervisor so it can be labeled.