Employees working with human blood or potentially infectious human blood, body fluids, tissues or cell lines as part of their job duties are required by OSHA to participate in the Bloodborne Pathogen Program. The program requires annual training for all potentially exposed employees. Registration of experiments involving human derived materials must also be submitted in accordance with the Policy for Human Sample Collection or Use.

Bloodborne pathogens include any organism that is present in human blood or body fluids that can cause disease. Common examples of bloodborne pathogens are the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, and the Hepatitis B Virus, which causes the liver disease Hepatitis B.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated a ruling in 1991 (OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 42 CFR 1910.1050) with the purpose of protecting employees from occupationally acquiring illnesses caused by bloodborne pathogens. The Bloodborne Pathogen Guide is the Rutgers University's bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan.