Exposure Control Plan to Prevent Infections with Blood-borne Pathogens

Biological labs handle samples of human origin- blood, semen, tissues etc. Work with these samples should be performed under biosafety level 2.

The risk of infection from a single exposure is 0.38%.

Studies have demonstrated that the rate of seroconversion after a contaminated needle stick is 30% for HBV, 3% for HCV and < 0.4% for HIV.


Exposures to blood-borne pathogens in the laboratory may involve:

  • Needle stick or cut from a sharp object that came n contact with tissues or body fluids of human origin.
  • Exposure of mucous membranes (nose, eyes) or ingestion (mouth) of materials originating from human tissues or body fluids.
  • Contact of non-intact skin (chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis) with tissues or body fluids of human origin.
  • Contact of intact skin or mucous membranes with high-titer pathogen contaminated materials (such as cell cultures).


Please note: before working with samples from patients with infectious diseases, consult a biosafety officer!

  • People working with non-fixed human samples should be vaccinated for HBV.

Work is allowed only after receiving the second shot. Antibody titer should be tested if only 2 out of 3 shots are documented. If the titer is above 10 mili international units, the third shot is still required. If under 10 mili international units re-vaccination is required (all 3 shots).

  • Prevent needle stick accidents:
    • For in vitro procedures use only blunt end needles.
    • Never recap needles.
    • Never bend, break, or otherwise manipulate needles by hand.
    • Never put down a syringe with an exposed needle or hand it over to another person.
    • Immediately after use, discard needle and syringe (whether contaminated or not) into the sharps bin.
    • Use care and caution when cleaning up after procedures that require the use of syringes and needles.


  • Prevent mucous membrane exposure: work in a biological hood or wearing particulate respirator and safety glasses (can be obtained at the safety unit).


  • Change your gloves frequently and when contaminated.

In case of exposure:

  • For eye exposure, flush with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • In case of skin contact or a needle stick accident, wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible, apply antiseptic and a clean dressing.
  • Report the accident immediately to the emergency center 2999 and seek medical advice.