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Biosafety BBP Refresher Topics

BBP Training Information

The Environmental Health & Safety Department offers Annual Refresher training for Bloodborne Pathogens online. EHS has created an organization within Blackboard to deliver the BBP training and provide a test that users can complete to receive refresher credit. The following link will take you step by step through the process of completing the online Refresher training.

Refresher Topics

What is a Bloodborne Pathogen?

A blood borne pathogen (BBP), is any pathogenic microorganism that is present in human blood or other potentially infectious material that can infect and cause disease in persons exposed to fluids containing the pathogen.

Examples of BBPs include:

  • HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Malaria, Syphilis, Brucellosis, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
    • Hepatitis: Causes an inflammation of the liver. HBV can survive outside the body for 7 days and still be infectious.
    • HIV: Disables the immune system and causes AIDS. The virus will usually only survive outside the body for a few minutes.

Materials Potentially Carrying BBPs

  • Fluids directly linked to transmission
  • Blood, blood products
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Synovial fluid
  • Pleural fluid
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Pericardial fluid
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Concentrated HIV/HBV viruses
  • Cultures containing or potentially containing blood borne pathogens
  • Most human cell lines
  • Animals that have been infected with BBPs
  • Other potentially infectious materials (OPIM)
    • Feces
    • Nasal secretions
    • Sputum
    • Sweat
    • Tears
    • Urine
    • Vomitus

How Can You Be Exposed to BBPs?

Most common occupational exposures to HIV & HBV are caused by contact with blood or infectious body fluids through:

  • Needlesticks
  • Broken skin, such as:
    • Lesions
    • Cuts
    • Abrasions
    • Rashes
  • Mucous membranes
    • Eyes
    • Nose
    • Mouth
  • Saliva injected from a bite can also transmit HBV.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

  • Follow good laboratory practices
  • Follow all lab standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Use Equipment Properly
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, goggles, lab coats, etc.)
  • Proper Handling & Disposal of Sharps
  • Vaccinate against HBV
  • Use Universal Precautions
    • Proper Universal Precautions Include:
      • Hand washing
      • Environmental Control
      • PPE
      • Disinfection
    • Treat all blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials as if they are infected with bloodborne pathogens. Treat every sample as though it is infectious and use all the safety practices every time. Universal precautions are required for blood, bodily fluids containing blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. It also applies to tissues and other fluids, including: cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic fluids.
    • Universal precautions include the use of protective barriers to reduce the risk on an infection. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, aprons, gowns, masks, and protective eyewear are used to prevent contact with potentially infectious materials. PPE is not a substitute for proper handling of infectious materials, proper waste disposal or cleaning techniques.

Spill Clean-Up: Basic Procedures

Even when working carefully, incidents can happen. When blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM) is spilled it is important that it is dealt with immediately. Remember to be aware of sharps hazards when cleaning a spill. Remove all sharps hazards before cleaning the rest of the spill. Do not use your hands to pick up broken glass or needles, instead use tongs or a broom and dust pan. Dispose of sharps in a biohazardous sharps container, not directly into a biohazard bag. The steps below will guide you through cleaning up a spill.

  • Restrict access to the space
  • Contact lab manager or emergency responders, if necessary
  • Locate spill kit or supplies & review spill clean-up procedure
  • Put on PPE (gloves, facemask, gown, goggles, booties, etc. as needed)
  • Remove sharps from spill if present
  • Cover the spill with towels or rags
  • Pour bleach solution or germicide on towels
    • Bleach diluted 1:10 with water (2 cups bleach in 1 gallon water)
  • Leave bleach on spill at least 15 minutes
  • Clean from outside of spill towards center of spill
  • Dispose of soiled materials in Biohazard bag
    • Material used for cleanup is infectious waste
  • Remove contaminated PPE, gloves last
  • Wash hands after removing gloves


If you have any questions, please contact David Schleter, the Lab Safety Coordinator by e-mail or by calling (740) 593-1662.

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