Fact Sheet

Protect Staff From Bloodborne Pathogen Contamination

Identify all employees whose job exposes them to blood. Although nursing staff are the most at-risk, any worker handling sharp devices or equipment (scalpels, sutures, hypodermic needles, blood collection devices, or phlebotomy devices) is at risk. This would include all employees or volunteers who provide first aid, clean up blood spills, wash contaminated laundry or surfaces or work with sample of human tissue, blood or body fluids.

Even organizations that are not providing healthcare or clinical services need to evaluate the possibility that employees and volunteers will encounter needlestick contamination before thinking this doesn’t pertain to their staff. For instance, volunteers cleaning up the grounds in an area where intravenous drug users dispose of hypodermic needles (parks, playgrounds, schoolyards, streetscapes); housekeeping staff who empty trash and bag it; and program staff who work with people who have infections that can be transmitted through contact with blood and body fluids; and any employees or volunteers who are required to provide first aid as part of their jobs (e.g. child care workers) are at risk.

Write an exposure plan

Provide training

Prevent exposure




Needle Devices

Treat exposure

NOTE: People who do not work in clinical settings (hospitals, medical, dental or emergency clinics) will usually have less personal protective equipment than those who do. For instance, volunteers picking up trash where used intravenous needles might be scattered with litter and garbage or in weeds can be provided with heavy-duty work gloves and mechanical devices that allow them to pick up objects on the ground.

Housekeeping staff should be instructed only to remove trash by: lifting up a trash bag liner and sealing it, or dumping the waste container into a larger trash bag or container for disposal. They should be instructed NEVER to reach into a waste container to pull out or retrieve the contents

Employees and volunteers who work with service recipients who have a bloodborne disease (HIV, hepatitis A, B, or C or others) should be educated about safety issues, provided appropriate PPE, soap and sinks or antiseptic cleansers, and methods to interact with their clients without ostracizing them or endangering themselves

Track Training

Create a chart with person’s name; date of first training; HBV vaccination acceptance or rejection; date of annual in-service refresher training.


Federal Register (1991). Bloodborne pathogen rules and regulations. 29 CFR part 1910.1030. Vol. 56, No. 235

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention

Needlesticks/Sharps Injuries

Personal Protective Equipment

Universal Precautions

Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control

Bloodborne Pathogen Checklist

Bloodborne Pathogen Standard Bloodborne Pathogen Universal Precautions

Characteristics of Needle Device Safety Features Checklist

Disposal Container Checklist

PPE Guidelines Checklist