International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Bloodborne Pathogens

30 Apr 2022 2:16 PM | Bryan Angstman

OSHA has the regulation which give us a great basis for area that have sharps and other hazards related to bloodborne pathogens.  I think we often forget that even in the areas we clean which are not specifically consider to contain these hazards they sometimes do.  Our staff has run into cleaning situations where the resident has an ailment or condition which leaves them using needles or there is blood from a cut.  In these situations, the protocols that OSHA has set up can be very important.

I have had several calls over the years where staff has called me wondering about how to treat blood or what to do with a syringe that has been left out.  My training in lab and pathogen clean up from working at the University of Minnesota left me with pretty good knowledge on how to deal with those situation but for untrained staff I have largely told them to stay away from them and just clean around it.  Yet, the last couple years have been a reevaluation on how we do business and all our staff goes into a cleaning job wearing glasses and disposable gloves.  

We have always run the carpet cleaning staff through a protocol on how to deal with blood types of issues.  Using disposable gloves and glasses is the main precaution we teach in those situations.  We also use a disinfectant before removing the stain.  

Reviewing this has taught me we need to be a bit more diligent with our cleaning staff and getting them more training in case they run into a blood pathogen issue.  For their safety and liability on our part, they need to have proper training so they know how to deal with such issues.  This will give them more peace of mind in dealing with the issue as well as the knowledge to take the proper steps toward dealing with it.


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