Research Paper On Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Workplace, Exposure, Employee, Viruses, Risk, Organization, Assessment, Human Resource Management

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/08

Bloodborne pathogen exposure

Bloodborne pathogens are disease causing microorganisms in human blood. Hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are examples of bloodborne pathogens (Phillips et al., 2012). These pathogens usually arise when employees in organizations are exposed to sharp objects such as needlesticks. These objects cause injuries to workers including nurses, housekeeping personnel and other members of an organization. Exposure may also occur through the eye, mouth, broken skin and nose. Employees have a right to safety in their workplace. Various laws require employers to initiate an enabling working environment that poses no harm to the health and safety of workers. Thus, preventing the risks of bloodborne pathogens is a matter of priority for most organizations.

Failure in reporting bloodborne pathogen exposure

Employees in organizations are expected to report cases of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Despite the harmful consequences of bloodborne pathogens, some employees in most organizations are always reluctant to report such cases. Many reasons attempt to explain the perceived reluctance of employees. Employees do not think that infections may arise from the bloodborne exposures (NIOSH, 2008). Some employees feel embarrassed to report such incidences. In some cases, employees fail to report these cases because of fear of losing their jobs. They think that they it is their responsibility to take care of themselves while in the workplace and that reporting incidences of exposure to bloodborne pathogens would jeopardize their stay in the workplace. Employees who might have failed to wear protective gear before an incidence of exposure do not bother about reporting the case due to fear of being reprimanded by their superiors.

Reducing exposure

Risk assessment
The centrality of the risk assessment process in the creation of blood-borne exposure rule and regulations cannot be gainsaid. Risk assessment helps in setting up a policy that encourages employee to report incidences of exposure. Risks assessment helps to identify and address issues in the workplace that may discourage reporting of bloodborne exposure (Phillips et al., 2012). The assessment helps to explain what the risks are and how they might hurt the productivity of workers in the organization if adequate measures are not placed to mitigate them. Risk assessment also helps create rules that remind employees that reporting such incidences would not affect their jobs.


Phillips, E. K., Simwale, O. J., Chung, M. J., Parker, G., Perry, J., & Jagger, J. C. (2012). Risk of bloodborne pathogen exposure among Zambian healthcare workers. Journal of infection and public health, 5(3), 244-249.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH. (2008). How can you encourage reporting? Retrieved from index.html

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Research Paper On Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 08, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2024.

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