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Department of Public Safety

bloodborne pathogens

The following information was developed by the Health and Safety Committee of Dickinson College.  Brochures on this information can be received by contacting the Director of Public Safety.  Also, at the bottom of this page there are several links to websites that offer additional information regarding exposure to certain bloodborne pathogens.

Procedure information

Procedure for handling blood or body fluid spills

This informatioin is to inform the college community of the procedures to be followed in the event of a blood or body fluid spill.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set forth regulations that employers must adhere to for the purpose of protecting the health of its employees against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B virus.

Dickinson College has created a plan to meet these regulations.  The plan includes the identification of those employees who, by virtue of their jobs, may become exposed to blook or body fluids that might contain potentially infectious material (such as HIV or Hepatitis B).  These people will receive special training as outlined by the regulations, be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine series, and be supplied with personal protective equipment to be used when necessary.  

Educating the entire campus community to the procedure to be followed when there is a potentially high rist situation is also a very important part of the plan.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that has been identified as causing AIDS (autoimmune deficiency syndrome).  Hepatitis B is a disease that is also caused by the transmission of a virus.  Both of these viruses are becoming more prevalent in the general population, and therefore all blood or body fluids must be handled as if infected.  Neither of these viruses are transmitted through casual contact.  Intimate sexual contact and sharing needles during intravenous drug use are the most prominent routes of transmission.  The viruses can also be transmitted if there is contact of blood or body fluids with open wounds (eg. on hands) or splashes into mucous membranes (eyes or mouth).


If any member of the college community is present during a situation where there is a blood or body fluid spill they are to follow the procedure outlined as follows:

1.   Do not touch the material.

You may cover it with a paper towel or whatever disposable material is available. Stay by the material so no one accidentally comes in contact with it while awaiting "the response team."

     2.   Call DPS at extention 1349 or 1111.

Explain to the officer/dispatcher that there has been a hazardous spill.  An officer will respond and evaluate the situation.  The Public Safety Officer may take care of the situation, or the "response team" may be called.  All Public Safety officers and a select group of Facilities personnel who have been identified as the "response team" are specially trained to handle such situations in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

     3.   An injured party should administer self-care prior to
the arrival of the response team.

If the blood or body fluid is from an injury, the injured party should be offered material to hold pressure over the wound, if such material is available, but no other employee should offer to assist. Common sense dictates that if the injured person is unconscious and unable to hold pressure to the wound, assistance would be appropriate.  Employees, not on the response team, who choose to assist do so at their own risk. If an employee does come in contact with any substance accidently druing working hours, the employee should receive a Hepatitis B vaccine with in 24 hours of the exposure.  The cost will be borne by the College.  Call the Health Center at ext. 1835 for more information or go directly to the Carlisle Emergency Department, located on Parker Street at South Street.

Additional information is available at the following websites

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health:

Hepatitis B and C:


400 W. North St. - Rear | Carlisle, PA 17013
Telephone Ext.: 1349 | Off Campus: (717) 245-1349