Skip to main content

Bloodborne Pathogen Safety

What are bloodborne pathogens and how might I be exposed?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms that can be present in and transmitted through human blood. The most common and dangerous bloodborne pathogens are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV – the virus that causes AIDS). You can become infected with one of these if you are exposed to the blood of a person who has one of these infections.

You may have been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen if:

  • Blood or OPIM contacts an opening in your skin (cuts, scratches, rashes, etc.)
  • Blood or OPIM contacts your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth)
  • Blood or OPIM contaminated object punctures your skin

What to do if you are exposed to human blood on the job:

If you are stuck with a needle, get blood on an open cut or in your eyes, nose or mouth or believe you have been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen, you should:

  • Wash the area thoroughly
  • Wash needlestick wounds or exposed cuts with soap and water
  • Flush splashes to nose, mouth or eyes with large amounts of water
  • irrigate eyes with clean water
  • Report the incident to your supervisor
  • Employees should contact Prevea WorkMed for follow-up evaluation
  • Monday-Friday, 7 am – 5pm, call 405-1420
  • After hours, go to St. Vincent’s or St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Room
    • Identify yourself as a UW-Green Bay employee with a potential BBP exposure

Note: students (who are not student employees) that are exposed to human blood should report the incident to their instructor and seek follow-up with their private doctor

Remember that most exposures do not result in infection. However, prompt follow-up to any potential exposure is critical.

What to do if you encounter a blood spill:

  • Secure the area by placing signs, caution tape or a barrier to keep the public away from the area
  • Call the Operations supervisor at ext. 2241 and state the location of the spill and any other information you have regarding the spill
  • UW-Green Bay Exposure Control Plan

Additional Resources