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ORS, Division of Occupational Health and Safety

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Universal Precautions

Universal (or Standard) Precautions is a term chiefly used in the medical field to indicate that blood and body fluids of all patients are considered potentially infectious for HIV, HBV and other bloodborne pathogens.


Universal precautions are intended to prevent parenteral, mucous membrane, and non-intact skin exposures of health-care workers to bloodborne pathogens.


Universal Precautions in a health care setting are similar to Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL 2) practices and procedures in a laboratory.