UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 06-01-03
CATEGORY: HEALTH, SAFETY, AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
SUBJECT: Bloodborne Pathogens
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 31, 1995
It is the policy of the University of Pittsburgh to limit or prevent occupational or student
exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials (as defined below) and to
provide certain treatment following any such exposure. This document serves to clarify
the University program for education, prevention, post-exposure medical treatment and
follow-up* provided for employees and students who have been exposed to bloodborne
pathogens as a part of workplace or other programmed activity.
Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human
blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to,
hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Occupational Exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or
parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from
the performance of employees’ duties or students’ programmed activities.
Other Potentially Infectious Materials means:
- the following human body fluids:
semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial
fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is
visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or
impossible to differentiate between body fluids;
- any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and
- HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or HBV-containing culture
medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental
animals infected with HIV or HBV.
II. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
The University shall provide education and prophylactic guidelines to employees and
students who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. This action shall be described in
detail in the University’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (ECP).
University employees and students shall have access to treatment and follow-up of
exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Employee treatment is specified by the OSHA
standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 (f) (3), Workers’ Compensation and the University Exposure
Control Plan. Treatment costs will be subject to payment under the University’s Workers’
Compensation policy and procedures.
Students who are not employees are not covered by OSHA standards or Workers’
Compensation, but will have access to appropriate evaluation and treatment of exposures
through referral centers identified below, and at the student’s or student’s health insurer’s
expense. Students who enroll in a University programmed activity where exposure to
human blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials is probable or possible must carry
health insurance validated each term that will cover payment of treatment and follow-up
With the exception of students enrolled in the Schools of the Health Sciences (Dental
Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health and
Rehabilitation Sciences), the use of unpreserved human blood and/or Other Potentially
Infectious Materials and primate blood and/or Other Potentially Infectious Materials shall be
excluded from all undergraduate courses and laboratory work. Petitions for exemptions
from this rule can be made by the course instructor to the Biohazards Committee.
HBV IMMUNIZATION AND PREVENTIVE TRAINING
Before engaging in a University programmed activity where exposure to human blood
and/or Other Potentially Infectious Materials is probable or possible, each employee and
each student must present either evidence of HBV immunization, or serologic evidence of
a protective antibody titer against hepatitis B virus disease (HBV) and undergo training to
prevent or minimize exposure. Hepatitis B immunization is available to University
employees without charge. Students should check with their health insurers about
coverage of, or reimbursement for, HBV immunization. Employees or students who want
to forego such immunization must sign a formal disclaimer statement.
Any University employee or student who believes that he or she may have had an
exposure to blood, body fluids, or Other Potentially Infectious Materials should:
- Promptly report to one of the designated referral centers approved by the
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic, University of Pittsburgh and listed in
the University Exposure Control Plan;
- Provide information to the licensed health care provider at the referral center about
the circumstances under which the possible exposure occurred; and
- Complete and submit the appropriate accident and/or Workers’ Compensation report
in accordance with University policy.
Evaluation of the exposure and recommendations for follow-up will be provided at the
referral centers. Any questions should be directed to the Environmental Health and
Safety Office, telephone 624-9544.
* Post-exposure medical treatment and follow-up as defined in the OSHA Standard.