What is an Exposure Control Plan?
An Exposure Control Plan will answer questions regarding BBP and ensure the appropriate exposure control activities are in place. If exposure to OPIM, blood and other hazardous materials is possible, an employer is required to develop an Exposure Control Plan by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. A copy of the Exposure Control Plan must be made accessible to all employees.
According to the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, an Exposure Control Plan must meet the following criteria:
- It must be specific for each facility
- It has to be reviewed and updated every year to reflect possible changes, such as new technology to reduce exposure to hazardous materials, blood or OPIM.
- Workers must be kept up-to-date on the uses of the Exposure Control Plan
- All employees must know where it's kept so it's accessible to them should they need it
Hepatitis B vaccine
Once employees complete the required BBP training, employers must offer them a hepatitis B vaccination. The vaccination must be offered within 10 days of an employee being assigned to a job with Occupational Exposure. If employees do not want the vaccination, make sure they sign a statement confirming this. If boosters are needed, these should be readily available to employees at no extra cost.
The hepatitis B vaccine is highly effective and protects against the hepatitis B virus. For those who may be HBV carriers or are already immune to the virus, the vaccine causes no harm. It will protect workers against hepatitis B infection as well as its complications. One of the main complications is permanent liver damage, which can lead to liver cancer or even death. It's important to stress to employees that having the immunization protects those around them too.