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Around 5.6 million healthcare workers are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens every year. This number does not include members of the general public who are at risk of exposure, including janitors, but also any workers who interact with the public on a regular basis.
It is critical for cleaning and janitorial staff to be trained on the hazards of blood and bodily fluids, for several reasons. First, exposure to certain pathogens (such as HIV/AIDS, HBV, HCV, etc.) can cause potentially life-threatening illness, permanent disability, and even death. Secondly, treatment for these diseases can be extremely costly, particularly in the US. Furthermore, it is far easier to prevent exposure than it is to treat many diseases that can arise from exposure. Exposure can burden not only the one who was exposed, but also their friends and families.
Cleaning and janitorial staff should be well-versed in the prevention of bloodborne pathogen exposure. Training should include Universal Precautions and the proper use of PPE. Any worker who may potentially come into contact with blood and bodily fluids should know the risks and consequences as well as how to properly mitigate the risks.
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