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Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens.

Workers in health care occupations, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home health care services and emergency medical services, have a known risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Other occupations that may be at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens include morticians, law enforcement personnel, correctional officers, firefighters, housekeeping and custodial personnel, designated first-aid providers and others.