International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Importance of understanding bloodborne pathogens

12 Oct 2021 9:53 AM | Jenny Barlow

It is important for employees and staff to understand the practice of Bloodborne Pathogen certification and Universal Precautions when dealing with blood or bodily fluids. Universal precautions teaches to assume any human blood or bodily fluids may be affected by BBP (bloodborne pathogens). As such when dealing with a situation that requires clean up and sanitizing of such an area those involved in the cleaning must be aware of the risks and hazards when dealing with this type of waste. 

Some ways to help mitigate the risks are to practice the following guidelines:

  1. Hand hygiene - wash hands thoroughly prior to eating, drinking, applying lip balm, or any other activity that may expose you to BBP
  2. Use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eyewear). - PPE used properly can help reduce risk of exposure
  3. Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette. - Cover it, don't spread it.
  4. Sharps safety (engineering and work practice controls). - Be very careful when handling hypodermic needles or other objects that may have come in contact with blood or other bodily fluids
  5. Safe injection practices (i.e., aseptic technique for parenteral medications).
  6. Sterile instruments and devices. - Don't reuse instruments or tools that have come possibly come in contact with BBP
  7. Clean and disinfected environmental surfaces. - Keep all areas clean and disinfected to prevent further spread of pathogens
  8. Awareness of any open wounds when handling blood or bodily fluids as that is one of the most common ways to transmit an infection 

In the end, we want all our employees and staff to go home safe to their family and friends. To do so it is important to follow OSHA's BBP training to keep co-workers, family, and friends safe. It is the responsibility of all professionals to do their part by following the practices of the OSHA BBP certification program.


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