HRAR-2.03 - Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure and the Workplace

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulate facilities where employees could be exposed to blood and other body fluids, which may carry disease causing pathogens.

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that may be present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OSHA enacted the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29CFR1910.1030). to reduce occupational exposure to human bloodborne pathogens that employees may come in contact with in the workplace. This standard establishes a framework for training and medical response.


The City of Portland is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe work environment for employees. The City has adopted an Exposure Control Plan (ECP) to comply with OSHA standards. The ECP provides guidelines and procedures to prevent, minimize and respond to occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Bureaus are required to adopt the City's Exposure Control Plan and such other procedures dictated by the nature and scope of work performed in each bureau.

City Risk provides training for employees, who because of their duties may reasonably anticipate exposure to human blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials. City Risk also facilitates follow-up assessment, education and testing for city employees who have an on-the job exposure. More information is available on the City Risk web page.


Bureau managers or supervisors may not refuse to hire, promote, or discharge from employment, an individual because that person is or is believed to be HBV, HCV or HIV infected, as long as the individual can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform the essential duties of the job and who does not pose a safety risk to other employees or the public. Exclusion of a person infected with HBV, HCV or HIV or believed to be infected, from any position on the basis of that infection or belief is prohibited unless, with reasonable accommodation, there remains a significant or materially enhanced risk of infection to others. A competent medical authority designated by the City must evaluate the severity of such a risk.

Persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of a bloodborne pathogen infection are protected under City rules of nondiscrimination and may contact the Diversity, Outreach and Employment Resources Office for assistance. See the HR Administrative Rule on Prohibition Against Workplace Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation.

Guidelines for Employees with Bloodborne Pathogen Infection

The City of Portland recognizes that HBV, HCV or HIV may pose significant and delicate issues for employees in the workplace. Accordingly, the following guidelines are offered:

  1. Persons with a bloodborne pathogen infection are encouraged to share information concerning their ability to perform assigned work with management for the purpose of reasonable accommodation, help and understanding and/or referral to the Employee Assistance Program.
  2. Self-disclosure of bloodborne pathogen infection is voluntary. Harassment and/or disparate treatment are prohibited.
  3. Management or employees needing more specific direction or advice concerning bloodborne pathogens in the workplace can contact their bureau Safety Officer or City Risk at 503-823-5101. Ask to speak with the Occupational Health Nurse or a Loss Prevention Specialist.


Confidentiality of all employee medical records shall be maintained in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.

Employee Refusal to Work

Employees are not permitted to refuse to work with a fellow employee or member of the public who has, or is suspected of having, a bloodborne pathogen infection. An employee who is concerned about the risk of exposure from others should review their concerns with a supervisor or the City Risk’s Occupational Health and Infectious Disease Program Manager at 503-823-5238.

Exposure Control

Each bureau is responsible to identify positions that have a reasonable likelihood of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Each bureau is responsible for informing their employees of the City’s Exposure Control Policy and for ensuring that new employees obtain this information during their orientation.


The City of Portland recognizes the importance of information and education relating to bloodborne pathogens.

For additional information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C, visit CDC’s hepatitis webpage.

Information specialists staff the National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-448-0110. They can answer questions or provide information on HIV infection and AIDS and the resources available in your area. More information is available at the CDC AIDS/HIV home page Additional information about occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens is available on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) webpage.

Risk Management will provide training resource information and will assist with the inter-bureau coordination of educational programs.

Response to a Possible Exposure

  1. In the event of an occupational exposure, first aid providers should follow the universal precautions as outlined in the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard and described in the City’s Exposure Control Plan.
  2. Worksite first aid kits should contain appropriate personal protective equipment, such as but not limited to, gloves, gowns, face shields or masks and eye protection, mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, pocket masks, or other ventilation devices. Personal protective equipment will be considered “appropriate” only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious material to pass through to or reach the employee’s work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use. Contact bureau Safety Officers or City Risk at 503-823-5101 for additional information about worksite first aid kit requirements.


Adopted by Council March 6, 2002, Ordinance No. 176302
Effective April 5, 2002
Revised November 4, 2011
Revised April 25, 2016

Historical notes

Adopted by Council March 6, 2002, Ordinance No. 176302
Effective April 5, 2002
Revised November 4, 2011
Revised April 25, 2016

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