Revised on
01/08/19 10:50am
SafetyNet #

Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

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The Cal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (Title 8 CCR, Section 5193) provides guidance to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure of employees to human bloodborne pathogens (BBP). A key component of the standard, which became effective July 1999, was the inclusion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with HIV and HBV as a specified bloodborne pathogen.

The BBP standard applies to all employees working in job classifications with a potential for occupational exposure to human blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The potential for an occupational exposure is determined by identifying tasks that may result in eye, mucous membrane or perenteral contact with human blood or other OPIMs. Anyone working in areas where they may come in contact with any of the items listed below, is required to obtain annual BBP training.

Bloodborne pathogens and OPIMs include the following:

  • Human blood, human blood components and products made from human blood.
  • Semen, vaginal secretions and saliva in dental procedures.
  • All human cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural and amniotic fluids.
  • Any body fluid visibly contaminated with blood (e.g., saliva, vomitus).
  • All body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids (e.g., emergencies).
  • Any unfixed human tissue.
  • HIV containing cell or tissue cultures.
  • HIV, HBV or HCV containing culture medium or other solutions.
  • Blood, organs or other tissues from experimental animals with HIV, HVB, HCV.

Included in the BBP Standard is the requirement for employees to use needleless systems or devices with “engineered sharps injury protection” when performing a procedure involving a potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens or using a needle or any other sharp. Please read SafetyNet #62 “Needle and Syringe Safety” for further information. 

The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard text can be accessed via the Internet at: