More than 5.6 million workers are exposed to bloodborne pathogens in the performance of their jobs. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms in human blood that cause disease in humans. Although approximately a dozen diseases are known, the main concern is from exposure to the Hepatitis B & C Viruses (HBV & HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
To prevent illness, chronic infection, and even death, OSHA has developed a Bloodborne Pathogen Standard to protect workers from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious body fluids. OSHA estimates that the Standard will prevent more than 200 deaths and 9,200 infections annually.
Employees are at risk of contacting infectious diseases each time they are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. It is the policy of Roger Williams University to prevent exposure incidents whenever possible. To protect workers and to comply with OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, the university has established a Exposure Control Plan.
The purpose of the Exposure Control Plan is to identify occupations, tasks, and procedures where exposure to bloodborne pathogens may occur and to implement controls that will reduce the risk of infection. The Exposure Control Plan also includes provisions for affected employees to receive Hepatitis B vaccinations, training, and if necessary confidential medical evaluations.