Recognize The Potential For Exposure

Firefighter helping car accident patient
Both rescuers should be wearing the proper PPE.

Employer Responsibilities to Identify Jobs at Risk

Employers must identify job classifications in which employees have occupational exposure, as well as the associated tasks and procedures in which there is a potential of exposure to blood or other infectious materials.

Employers must review job classifications annually to ensure proper procedures and training is established.

1. How often should an employer review job classifications?

a. Weekly
b. Daily
c. Annually
d. Monthly

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What jobs are most at risk of exposure?

Occupations with a likely chance of occupational exposure include:

Doctor performing surgery
Medical providers are often exposed to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious material (OPIM).
  • First aid providers
  • Teachers
  • Daycare workers
  • Housekeepers
  • Lab workers
  • Firefighters
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics
  • Law enforcement agents
  • Medical and dental personnel

An employer must review every job classification and make a determination of the potential occupational exposure for that position. Failure to properly identify potential occupational exposure can result in warnings or fines issued by OSHA.

If an occupational exposure does occur, it is important for you to follow the employer's written procedures for handling medical self-care and evaluation, as well as documenting the circumstances of the exposure.

2. What could happen to a company that doesn't properly identify potential occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens?

a. Business may be shut down
b. OSHA warning or fine
c. Management fired
d. Employees fired

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.

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Scenario

Maria is an employee for a local hospital and works in their housekeeping department.

Is it Maria's responsibility to know what her occupational exposure is?

No.

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure each employee is properly trained and understands their potential occupational exposure. Further, the employer is responsible for documenting the training and maintaining all associated records. Maria has the responsibility to follow the established procedures identified in her employer's exposure control plan and ask questions if needed.

It is important to know if your job classification puts you at risk for occupational exposure. If your job puts you at risk, be aware that specific tasks or procedures may still have the potential for exposure.

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