Teaching laboratories that use hazardous materials include biology and chemistry labs, but also some select physics, engineering, and geoscience lab classes. Contact your teaching lab coordinator or stockroom staff for specific policies in your department.
Autoclave SOP (PDF)
Clearly label the container as “Waste”. Include type of waste on label.
Affix a filled-out waste ID tag to the container.
Don’t mix waste types (unless directed to do so).
Do not pour hazardous liquids down the drains.
Do not throw lab waste in regular trash cans.
If you can reasonably anticipate facing contact with human blood and/or other potentially infectious materials as part of your job duties, you should receive additional training from your instructor or supervisor including an opportunity for interactive questions and answers. Questions about the SFSU Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Plan should be directed to Campus EHOS.
1. What are bloodborne pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria that are carried in blood and can cause disease in people. There are many different bloodborne pathogens including malaria, syphilis, and brucellosis, but Hepatitis B (HBV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are the two diseases specifically addressed by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. However, it is important to know which bloodborne pathogens (from humans or animals) you may be exposed to at work, especially in laboratories.
2. Since I don’t work in a hospital, how could I potentially be exposed to bloodborne pathogens at work?
- Providing first aid or CPR assistance to an infected individual
- Cleaning up blood, vomit, or other bodily fluids
- Drawing blood in class
- Working with unpreserved human or animal cadavers
3. What are some things I can do to protect myself?
It is extremely important to use personal protective equipment and work practice controls to protect yourself from bloodborne pathogens.
- Universal Precautions: A prevention strategy, in which all blood and potentially infectious materials are treated as if they are, in fact, infectious. In other words, whether or not you think the blood/body fluid is infected with bloodborne pathogens, you treat it as if it is.
- Personal Protective Equipment: To protect yourself, it is essential to have a barrier between you and the potentially infectious material. This includes wearing impermeable gloves, eye protection, and sometime mouth coverings such as a mask or CPR shield.
- Handwashing: This is one of the most important (and easiest) practices used to prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens. Hands or other exposed skin should be thoroughly washed as soon as possible following an exposure incident. Avoid harsh, abrasive soaps, as these may open fragile scabs or other sores.
4. What if I swallowed or got splashed with blood or other bodily fluids?
If you believe you have been exposed to potentially infectious blood or bodily fluids, contact campus EHOS at 415.339.1449 or COSE Health and Safety Office at 415.338.6892 to report the incident. You have the right to be medically evaluated by the University physician and to be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine series (HBV shot). The HBV vaccine can still be effective in preventing infection up to 24 hours following the exposure incident.
Although your employer must offer the vaccine to you, you do not have to accept that offer. You may opt to decline the vaccination series, in which case you will be asked to sign a declination form. This does not impact any future decisions following another exposure incident. For more details about the vaccine, please contact Campus EHOS at x8-1449.