What is a Universal Precaution?
A universal precaution is one of a set of rules and regulations set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens in any form in the workplace. These universal precautions are defined to improve the safety of any individual that needs to be in contact with infected individuals, which in turn increases their risk of exposure in the workplace due to OPIM or blood.
Universal precautions must be considered and followed at all times to prevent direct contact with infectious materials from humans. Every type of bodily fluid and transmission method should be regarded as high-risk and a potential risk to the health of staff members because of the potential presence of bloodborne pathogens.
As a protection method, exposure control plans are used in the workplace to reduce risks and enhance safety.
The following is included as part of exposure control planning:
- Well-designed engineering controls
- Implementation of best work processes and practices
- Use and suitability of personal protective equipment (PPE)