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Health Services

Universal Precautions

"Universal Precautions" or an equivalent prevention strategy (such as "Body Substance Isolation Techniques") are used to protect you from bloodborne pathogens or OPIM.

Universal Precautions is the term used to describe a prevention strategy in which all blood or OPIM are treated as infectious regardless of the perceived health status of the source individual. In other words, all blood and OPIM are assumed to be infected with bloodborne pathogens. This means that the appropriate exposure controls are to be used anytime you encounter blood or OPIM.

The first line of defense in protecting you from bloodborne pathogens is engineering controls, followed by protective work practices. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is considered the last line of defense.

These exposure controls are discussed in more detail in the next training modules.

The engineering controls, work practices and PPE assigned for the tasks you perform when encountering blood or OPIM are covered in your site-specific Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan.

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