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 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.

To register for bloodborne pathogen training, see our training page. Note that the online bloodborne pathogen training on TrainTraq is not currently accepted for the required Texas A&M University Bloodborne Pathogen course.

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.Texas A&M's exposure control plan is available for viewing here.

Also available is the Texas A&M Standard Administrative Procedure is 24.01.01.M4.01: Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control (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 other body fluids.

    Workers whose job duties have a reasonable anticipation of contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials are required to be offered a vaccination series against HBV. The vaccine is offered after bloodborne pathogens training and within 10 working days of initial assignment to work 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.

    Exposure Incident Reporting

    Report all on-the-job accidents and injuries, including emergency situations involving serious injury, exposure, or after-hours incidents, to your supervisor IMMEDIATELY. This step does not take the place of calling 911 (on campus phones dial 9-911) for emergency medical services for serious injuries or emergencies. It may be necessary to follow a specific procedure for control of infectious materials before emergency medical care can be given. Supervisors will also know the proper injury reporting procedure for the worker's compensation program. Adverse event forms should be filled out and returned to the BOHP research compliance specialist for all adverse events involving hazardous or potentially hazardous biological agents.

    For any bloodborne pathogen questions, please contact us at 979.845.6649 or biosafety-occ-health@tamu.edu.