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Bloodborne Pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Most occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens occur when the pathogen comes in contact with the employees mucas membrane like the nose or mouth or breaks in the skin. Body fluids like blood, vomit, and saliva can contain bloodborne pathogens. You could easily protect yourself from coming into contact by following universal precautions. The Centers for Disease Control And prevention established the Universal Precautions approach, recommending that blood and certain body fluids from all patients be considered potentially infections and that the infection precautions be taken to minimize the risk of exposure.
Always follow universal precautions even your work precautions when handling contaminated materials this means at all times assume that all blood and body fluids are contaminated with bloodborne pathogens and you should follow proper protective practices when handling a clean up or a exposure. Protective Practices is color coding or labeling laundry is acceptable if all the soiled laundry is handled using universal precautions and the labeling or color coding is sufficient to let all employees know that compliance with universal precautions is required. If laundry is shipped to a location that is shipped that does not use universal precautions the bags or containers must be labeled properly and color coded red or orange. Needles or other sharp objects may be hidden within the laundry wear personal protective gear if you are handling contaminated laundry. You are responsible for containing the bloodborne pathogens and decontaminating the area so someone else isn't exposed.
It is important to clean and disinfect the area with the appropriate disinfectant cleaner and after a cleanup procedure always remove and dispose of your gloves and other equipment in the proper labeled container then thoroughly wash your hands after you remove the gloves goggles or any other personal protective equipment. Good hand washing helps reduce the spread of infection and disease.All cleaning equipment that was used during a cleanup or exposure must be disinfected. If you have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens contact your supervisor for specific instructions on exposure protocol and notify your doctor and pay attention to your health and watch for any symptoms that are related to HIV or HBV. OSHA requires that each job site which there is a reasonable likelihood of bloodborne pathogen exposure have a written control plan and it must be kept updated and reviewed at least annually and is a important part to protect yourself and your supervisor should provide a copy. OSHA requires specific documents from your employer. When an exposure occurs, your employer must maintain certain records for three years after the exposure. Take the time to read your facility written exposure plan. Also always take universal precautions when there is a chance you could be exposed to bloodborne pathogens.
Never eat, drink, smoke, or apply lip balm in areas in which there is a possibility of a bloodborne pathogen exposure. Never reuse towels or sponges and never compress trash because it could splatter and spill. Handle contaminated laundry cautiously, use properly labeled or color coded containers and bags when disposing of or transporting materials contaminated with bloodborne pathogens, this includes gloves, laundry and equipment. You play an important role in preventing or reducing contact with bloodborne pathogens to others as well as yourself.
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