Appendix B: Biohazard Safety/Universal Precautions

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All specimens, and materials containing specimens, must be handled as if they are capable of transmitting an infectious organism. Sites must ensure that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Precautions for blood borne pathogens are met. Also, according to Universal (standard) Precautions, all human blood should be treated as if it is known to be infectious for HIV, hepatitis B and other blood borne pathogens. Sites must have available, and follow procedures for , biohazard safety including instructions for gloves, hand washing, sharps and biohazardous waste disposal, spill containment and disinfection. A different pair of gloves should be worn for collecting a specimen from each person being tested. Used gloves should be handled as biohazardous waste. For further details on these precautions, see the OraQuick package insert, OSHA regulations and guidelines on Universal and Standard Precautions.

Employers with employees who have potential for an occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials must meet OSHA standards for blood borne pathogens. Individuals collecting blood specimens or performing HIV rapid testing, are exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials resulting from the performance of their duties. Therefore, sites offering testing with blood must meet OSHA standards that include, but are not limited to, the following requirements:

  • Written exposure control plan
  • Personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine and vaccination series to all employees who have occupational exposure
  • Training for all employees with occupational exposure
  • Post-exposure evaluation and follow-up for all employees who have had an exposure incident
  • Containment and disposal of bio-hazardous waste (including blood and items contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials) that follows all federal, State and local regulations.

Inidividuals that administer OraQuick should follow universal precautions and all regulations for disposal of bio-hazardous materials. Agencies should keep a log of all occupational exposure injuries. In addition, agencies should review their current liability insurance and obtain advice from their legal counsel for specific issues. State laws and regulations related to liability for blood borne pathogen exposure and occupational safety should be carefully reviewed. Agencies should seek legal counsel for specific issues.

For more information, see the blood borne pathogen section of the OSHA web site:

For a odel exposure control plan, see the directive section of the OSHA web site: