A number of bodily fluids other than blood may contain bloodborne pathogens, especially if they are visibly contaminated with blood. Those sources include:
◈ Cerebrospinal fluid in the brain
◈ Synovial fluid in the joints
◈ Pleural fluid in the lungs
◈ Amniotic fluid in and around the uterus
◈ Pericardial fluid around the heart
◈ Peritoneal fluid in the abdomen
To reduce the risk of this occurrence, OSHA healthcare compliance requires employers to follow a series of precautions. OSHA healthcare compliance includes:
◈ Developing an exposure control plan, which is a written plan to eliminate or minimize occupational exposures. To ensure OSHA healthcare compliance, employers must prepare an exposure determination that contains a list of job classifications where there is a risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The plan must be updated at least annually to reflect changes in tasks, procedures, and positions that affect occupational exposure, and also technological changes that eliminate or reduce occupational exposure.
◈ Implementing universal precautions. Under this OSHA healthcare compliance measure, workers must treat all human blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) as if it were an infectious bloodborne pathogen. This means that, under certain circumstances, where the presence of bloodborne pathogens cannot be confirmed or denied, workers must take the safety measures they are required to take when it is known that a bloodborne pathogen is present.
◈ Identifying and using engineering controls. OSHA healthcare compliance engineering controls are devices that isolate or remove a bloodborne pathogen from the workplace. Examples of OSHA healthcare compliance engineering controls include use of sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, and sharps with built-in sharps injury protection.
◈ Identifying and ensuring the use of work practice controls. OSHA healthcare compliance work practice controls are practices that reduce the risk of exposure by changing the way a task is performed. Work practice controls include appropriate practices for handling and disposing of contaminated sharps, handling specimens, handling laundry, and cleanin