Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms found in the blood of infected individuals that cause diseases.  They may also be present in other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), such as blood-tainted body fluids, unfixed tissues or body parts, some biological research materials, and even other nonhuman primates. These pathogens are a concern because they are capable of infecting others who are exposed to infectious blood or other body fluids. 

Some workers are at risk of exposure as a result of their occupational duties, and, these workers are required to receive bloodborne pathogens training prior to initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may occur, and then receive refresher training annually thereafter. The training covers a variety of topics aimed at reducing the risk of exposure and disease transmission.

Exposure Control Plan

An Exposure Control Plan is a written action plan that identifies occupational risks and specifies precautionary control measures needed to manage and minimize potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens.  A copy of Texas A&M University- Kingsville Exposure Control Plan is available here: http://www.tamuk.edu/finance/risk/risk-files/TAMUK_BBP_RSC.pdf

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious bloodborne pathogen that attacks the liver and can cause potentially life-threatening disease in humans.  HBV is transmitted through exposure to blood or OPIM. 

Workers whose job duties have a reasonable anticipation of contact with human blood or OPIM are required to be offered a vaccination series against HBV. The vaccine is offered during bloodborne pathogens training and within 10 working days of initial assignment to work areas with potential exposure unless the employee has previously received the complete hepatitis B vaccination series, antibody testing has revealed that the employee is immune, or that the vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons.

A form for acceptance or declination of the HBV vaccine must be filled out by all workers whose job duties have been identified as placing them at risk for exposure and is required within the TrainTraq course 2111525 to proceed through course completion. The standard Texas A&M University System hard copy form is available here: Hepatitis B Vaccination Form

This form should be completed, if the electronic form becomes nonfunctional, and returned to the designated individual(s) at your institution (contact information listed below).

Occupational Health College Hall Room 210.

Exposure Incident Reporting

If a bloodborne pathogens exposure incident should occur, report the incident immediately to your supervisor and the safety office.  In addition, complete and submit an employee incident reporting form at: http://www.tamuk.edu/finance/hr/hr_pages/TAMUK%20Incident%20Report%20-%202016.doc  and, if contaminated sharps were involved, a Contaminated Sharps Injury Reporting Form.

Questions

If you have any questions about bloodborne pathogens training, your Exposure Control Plan, or your risk of occupational exposure, Hepatitis B vaccination, spill cleanup or waste pickup, contact your safety office or a biosafety specialist using the appropriate information listed below.

Important Contacts

Please call EHS (361-593-4131) for the following:

  • For training assistance
  • Biological safety
  • Hepatitis B immunization
  • Spill cleanup
  • Biohazard waste pickup

This page was last updated on: August 7, 2017