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Environmental Health and Safety

Bloodborne Pathogens

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard applies to all employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

  • Occupational exposure is defined as reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties.
  • Blood is defined as human blood, human blood components and products made from human blood.
  • Other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) is defined as the following: saliva in dental procedures; semen; vaginal secretions; cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, and amniotic fluids; body fluids visibly contaminated with blood; along with all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; unfixed human tissues or organs (other than intact skin); HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture media or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.

Bloodborne Pathogens Training

OSHA requires all employees who have occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens receive initial and annual training.

Laboratory Personnel

All laboratory personnel with an occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) must complete the training course Bloodborne Pathogens for Labs. This includes researchers conducting experiments involving human-derived materials, such as human blood, body fluids, unfixed tissues, cell lines, or other potentially infectious materials that may contain bloodborne pathogens.

Non-Laboratory Personnel

Personnel with an occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens as result of performing their job duties that DO NOT work in a laboratory must contact Buddy Harley at for bloodborne pathogens training guidance.


Bloodborne Pathogens Resources

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030)

USC Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan-Template [doc]

USC Hepatitis B Vaccination For Research Laboratories [pdf]

OSHA Quick Reference Guide to the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (Fact Sheet) [pdf]

OSHA Protecting Yourself When Handling Contaminated Sharps (Fact Sheet) [pdf]

OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Reduces Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens (Fact Sheet) [pdf]

CDC Hepatitis B Vaccine Information [pdf]

OSHA Hepatitis B Vaccination Protection (Fact Sheet)

CDC/NIOSH Overview of Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, HBV, and HCV

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention

CDC STOP STICKS Campaign – Safer Sharps Devices (NORA)

CDC Emergency Sharps Information

Applicability of Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to Established Human Cell Lines (Interpretation)

Needle Use Exceptions When No Alternative is Feasible or Required by Procedure (Interpretation)

Biosafety Level for ATCC Cultures

Use of Human Cell Lines in Animals: ABSL-1 vs ABSL-2 (ABSA Guidance) [pdf]

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