Q&A: Bites and exposures

OSHA Healthcare Connection, January 12, 2010

Q: Are bites considered employee exposure incidents and covered under OSHA standards?

A: Yes. Human bites that break the skin, which can occur during violent situations in places such as behavioral health and correctional settings, are included as parenteral contact under the bloodborne pathogens standard.

Have a bloodborne pathogen question? Check out the Ask the Expert Bloodborne Pathogens category on the OSHA Healthcare Advisor, or download the “OSHA FAQ: Compliance for Ambulatory Healthcare Settings” special report from the Tools page.

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