Chubb’s Claims department includes a team of dedicated registered nurse professionals with extensive experience helping businesses address health and safety issues. Our nursing team also supports employees as they recover from injury and illness—and return to work. In the spirit of promoting safe and healthy workplaces, our medical specialists developed this edition of Chubb HealthBeat to help your business and employees prevent and respond to exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms—viruses, bacteria, and parasites—present in blood that can cause disease. These pathogens can be passed from person to person through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Exposure can occur via contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, or through a break in the skin, including abraded or chapped skin.
More than 20 diseases are attributed to bloodborne pathogens. The most common bloodborne pathogens are:
All of these pathogens can cause serious illness, disability, and death.
Every year, millions of people are exposed to bloodborne pathogens while on the job. In the U.S., an estimated 400,000 needlesticks or sharps injuries—penetrating wounds from syringes, needles, scalpels, and lancets—occur in hospital settings.
While healthcare workers are at the greatest risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, people in many occupations are at risk, including:
Taking steps to protect employees from bloodborne pathogens is the right thing to do—and it’s required by law for many businesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to identify and protect workers who are occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Many states also enforce their own safety requirements to prevent bloodborne pathogen exposure at the workplace.
We can help with that.