Thomas Jefferson University

Bloodborne Pathogens

Any laboratory which works with potentially infectious material (i.e. blood, tissue, viruses, etc.) must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Under this law, the employer is required to ensure that the laboratory employee is trained on appropriate methods to control accidental exposure to potentially infectious agents. Employers must communicate the potential hazards, provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves, eye protection, face shield etc.) and ensure these are used whenever the potential exists for accidental exposure.

For more information on the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and associated vaccinations, contact the Biological Safety Officer at extension 3-7422.

OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens program requires annual training for all potentially exposed employees.  Jefferson Employees can receive the training through HealthStream.  The following link will transfer you to the HealthStream page. Jefferson University employees can also take a classroom training session given by the Biological Safety Officer.  These courses are given once a month and a schedule here.

Bloodborne pathogens include any organism that is present in human blood or body fluids that can cause disease.  Common examples of bloodborne pathogens are the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, and the Hepatitis B Virus, which causes the liver disease Hepatitis B.

Additionally, each employee who is covered by the standard must also be offered a Hepatitis B vaccination by the employer at no cost to the employee. Employees may refuse the vaccination. If they choose not to receive the vaccine, they must sign a declination form provided by the employer. Additional vaccinations are available to employees who come into contact with other infectious agents such as rabies, vaccinia virus, etc.  All vaccinations are available to employees at no charge.