Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens Information for UVM Laboratory Employees

In Case of Exposure to Potentially Infectious Material, refer to this procedure .

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

The Exposure Control Plan (ECP) was created to assist UVM in implementing and ensuring compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. At UVM, the employee's supervisor is responsible for determining whether a specific employee is "at risk" according to the standard. OSHA defines occupational exposure 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".

All employees are expected to adhere to guidelines established in the UVM ECP. Questions should be addressed to the laboratory supervisor or the Environmental Safety staff .

Information about Specific Bloodborne Pathogens:

HBV fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control in PDF format.

HCV fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control in PDF format.

HIV fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control

Overview of the Hepatitis B Vaccination Series

Paid UVM Employees who have potential for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens (“at risk”) in the course of their work are offered the Hepatitis B Vaccination series at no cost to them. The series consists of 3 shots plus a titer to check for immunity. The supervisor determines who is considered at risk and fills out the Risk Designation form for those employees.

It is not required that “at risk” employees receive the vaccination, but in either case the employee must fill out the consent/refusal form. At risk employees who want the Hepatitis B Vaccination series indicate consent and those who do not wish to get the series indicate refusal. At risk employees may change their minds at any time and request the series by filling out a new consent/refusal form indicating consent.

Supervisors will provide training to employees on hepatitis B vaccinations, addressing the safety, benefits, efficacy, methods of administration, and availability. Environmental Safety BBP safety training can also be scheduled and customized for your group.

The hepatitis B vaccination series is available at no cost after training and within 10 days of initial assignment to employees identified as "at risk" in the Determination of Employee Exposure section of this plan. Vaccination is encouraged unless:

  • the employee has previously received the series,
  • antibody testing reveals that the employee is immune, or
  • medical evaluation shows that vaccination is contraindicated.

If an employee chooses to decline vaccination, the employee must sign a declination form. (Appendix H of this ECP) Employees who decline may request and obtain the vaccination at a later date at no cost or penalty. Documentation of refusal of the vaccination is kept in the workplace by the supervisor.

The vaccination will be provided by the Concentra Health Care at 7 Fayette Road, Suite 115 in South Burlington. Make an appointment at (802) 658-5756 . A copy of the Risk Designation Form taken to the first appointment will assure that the employee receives the vaccine at no charge.

Following hepatitis B vaccinations, the health care professional's Written Opinion will be limited to whether the employee requires the hepatitis vaccine, and whether the vaccine was administered.

Forms needed for all employees with occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens:

Bloodborne Pathogen Training Components

All “at risk” employees will receive laboratory specific training conducted by their supervisor. If requested by the supervisor, Environmental Safety staff will provide more comprehensive Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogens training. The laboratory supervisor must still do training specific to the laboratory. Environmental Safety staff offers 2 types of training: On-line Bloodborne Pathogens Training and Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogens Training as well as individual consultations for laboratory biosafety and compliance.

“At risk” employees receive training on the epidemiology, symptoms, and transmission of bloodborne pathogen diseases. In addition, the training program covers the following elements:

  • Explanation of the OSHA BBP Standard and how to obtain a copy
  • Explanation of the UVM ECP and how to obtain a copy
  • Information on the hepatitis B vaccine series
  • Information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or OPIM
  • Explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available.
  • Information on the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up that the employer is required to provide for the employee following an exposure incident.
  • Explanation of the signs and labels and/or color-coding required by the standard and used at UVM.
  • Explanation of methods to recognize tasks and other activities that may involve exposure to blood and OPIM.
  • Explanation of what constitutes an exposure incident.
  • Opportunity for interactive questions and answers with the person conducting the training session.

These items are covered in a general way in ESF trainings. Supervisors must provide detailed information to include the following:

  • Explanation of the use and limitations of the engineering controls, work practices, and PPE used in the workplace.
  • Explanation of the types, uses, location, removal, handling, decontamination, and disposal of PPE.
  • Explanation of the basis for PPE selection.

Training materials for ESF trainings are available from the Environmental Safety staff at esf@uvm.edu and specific material given by the supervisor is available in the workplace.