HEALTH AND SAFETY BULLETIN


SUBJECT: Bloodborne Pathogens Program


Newspaper and television news broadcasts continue to provide a reminder of the tragedy associated with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) which causes liver disease. Sadly, new cases of HIV and HBV infection continue to occur despite education on available methods to prevent spread of the diseases.

The HIV and HBV germs fit into a broad category of infectious agents known as bloodborne pathogens. Although HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens cause separate diseases, they are alike in the manner that they can be passed from person to person through blood or other potentially infectious human body fluids. They are also similar in that actions can be taken to minimize or eliminate their spread.

The likelihood of being infected by a bloodborne pathogen varies between individuals; however, in most cases, the hazard increases based upon lifestyle. Various actions such as sharing needles, intercourse with an infected person, or intercourse with an individual whose infectious status is unknown, place an individual in a high-risk group.

In order to provide a safe and healthful environment for our employees, students, and guests from the community, UW-L has implemented a comprehensive bloodborne pathogens program to minimize or eliminate your exposures to these germs on campus or in campus-sponsored activities.

The plan identifies various personnel whose occupations place them at higher hazard, including any student employees who perform these jobs. These individuals include:

  • Health Care Personnel
  • Medical Technology Staff
  • Campus Police
  • Sports Medicine Specialists
  • Custodial Staff
  • Personnel who handle contaminated laundry
  • Personnel with jobs that require provision of first aid or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
  • Laboratory personnel who work with blood orother potentially infectious human body fluids
  • Personnel who handle or transport regulated infectious waste
  • Personnel who work on equipment that may be contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious human body fluids

All individuals employed in one of the above categories is required to attend initial and annual training in order to reduce their personal risk and help provide a more safe and healthful environment for the rest of the campus.