Controlling Exposures to BBP

A. Work Practice Controls

These are work procedures that apply where there is a potential for contact with blood or OPIM to prevent employees from being exposed.  Work practice controls are dependent on the type of work performed, but in all instances, these controls apply:

  1. Washing facilities are available to employees who are exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Employees shall wash hands after removal of personal protective gloves and whenever there is a likelihood of contamination. In addition, any contaminated skin area will be washed as soon as possible.  When hand-washing facilities are not readily available. The use of waterless hand washing products is permitted as an interim means of washing the hands or other parts of the body after contamination with blood or OPIM.  If blood or other potentially infectious material contacts mucous membranes then those areas shall be washed or flushed with water as appropriate as soon as possible following exposure.
  2. Safe sharps management: Contaminated needles may not be recapped, bent or broken off. Shearing or breaking of contaminated needles is prohibited. They must be deposited in a sharps container immediately or as soon as possible after use. Sharps containers must be closed and taped shut with autoclave tape prior to removal or replacement to prevent spilling or protrusion of the contents during handling or storage.  Sharps also include any other item that could cut or break the skin that could expose a worker to blood or OPIM.
  3. Activities such as eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or lip balm, and handling contact lenses are prohibited in labs or other locations where potential for exposure to BBP exists. Food and drink may not be kept in laboratory refrigerators, freezers, shelves, or cabinets where hazardous materials, blood or OPIM may be present.
  4. Biohazardous waste segregation: All biohazardous waste (non-sharps) generated as part of teaching or research operations shall be bagged and held in a bio-waste disposal bin prior to autoclaving.
  5. Safe storage: Labels will clearly identify all containers or areas where infectious materials may be generated or stored. Rooms, refrigerators, freezers, and incubators shall show a biohazard symbol on the standard color background (red/orange), along with emergency contact information of responsible parties, and identification of the hazardous agent(s) present. Container labels will have the name of the agent, date, and initials of responsible party printed on them.
B. Universal Precautions

Universal precautions are a specific “work practice control” and will be observed at this facility in order to prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. This means that all blood or OPIM will be considered infectious regardless of the perceived status of the source individual.

Universal Precautions include:

  1. Hand Washing: with soap and water before gloving, after removing gloves, before eating, after hands have touched a contaminated or possibly contaminated item.
  2. Wearing Gloves: Wear disposable protective gloves (latex, nitrile, vinyl) for contact with blood and other potentially infectious material. Always change gloves immediately if they become contaminated.
  3. Other PPE may also be required to prevent exposure, such as lab coats, face shields, and safety glasses/goggles. PPE is provided by PLU at no cost to employees.  PPE that needs repair, replacement, or cleaning should be reported immediately to a supervisor.
C. Other Work Practice Controls
  1. Food and drink must not be kept in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, and cabinets or on countertops or bench tops in hazardous locations or labs.
  2. All procedures will be conducted in a manner, which will minimize splashing, spraying, splattering, and generation of droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  3. Mouth pipetting/suctioning of blood or other potentially infectious materials is prohibited.
  4. Specimens of blood or other potentially infectious materials must be placed in fluid proof, biohazard labeled, secondary transport containers if transport is necessary.
  5. Regulated waste material must be placed in a biohazard labeled container, which is to be closed before removal to prevent spillage or protrusion of contents.
  6. Equipment, which may be contaminated with blood or infectious materials, must be examined prior to service or shipping and shall be decontaminated as necessary.  If decontamination is not feasible then a readily observable biohazard label shall be attached to the equipment and the contaminated portions documented.  Employees shall observe universal precautions and utilize appropriate PPE when handling such equipment.
  7. Hand to hand transfer of contaminated sharps is prohibited.
D. Engineering Controls

PLU has adopted the following engineering controls to prevent or minimize exposure to bloodborne pathogens. New technology will be implemented and evaluated whenever possible. Our engineering controls are evaluated and maintained as described in the table on the following pages:


Controls in Use Location Evaluation/Service Interval Controls Evaluated
Sharps Containers School of Nursing, Student Health Center, Facilities reception area, Campus Safety, Athletics training rooms, public restrooms on campus Removed by Stericycle for incineration and disposal. Monthly. Evaluated during annual inspections, and when being transported for pickup.
Biosafety Cabinet All tissue culture rooms and some main labs (School of Biology) Not currently inspected for efficacy NA
Biohazard Waste Container School of Biology, Student Health Center Consists of doubled biohazard bags or plastic beaker lined with biohazard bag.  Should be closed inside hood and transferred to Bio-waste disposal bin. Evaluated during annual inspections.
Bio-waste disposal bin School of Biology, Student Health Center For holding bags of potentially infectious waste prior to autoclaving. Evaluated during annual inspections
Autoclave School of Biology, Student Health Center For sterilizing potentially infectious waste.  Biology dept. biohazardous waste is monitored using biological test strips to assure proper sterilization occurred. Quarterly third party testing on School of Biology autoclave performed by SPS Medical EMS Sterilizer Monitoring Service. Health Center testing is performed on site monthly using a spore test.