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Ask the expert: Gloves for injections

Q: In researching OSHA guidelines, I found that wearing gloves during an injection is not required. Any thoughts on this? I would like to make wearing gloves a requirement in my facility.

A: Wearing gloves may be prudent, but not required by OSHA.

“Gloves are usually not necessary when administering intramuscular or subcutaneous injections as long as bleeding that could result in hand contact with blood or OPIM is not anticipated, according to Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens [1].

Employers may have exposure control plans that go above the minimum requirements for the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, so if you decide to require gloves for all injections, be sure to specify the policy in the exposure control plan.