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Those in the cleaning industry may come into contact with blood. OSHA has developed standard guidelines which will help us to reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms present in human blood which can cause disease in humans upon contact. Most exposure occurs through the nose, mouth, or open wounds on the skin. Saliva and vomit may also contain blood born pathogens.
The CDC recommends that all bodily fluids be considered as potentially infectious. We should assume that all blood and body fluids contain bloodborne pathogens. It is important to use the correct disinfecting cleaning solution when cleaning up bodily fluids. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves or goggles, should be used when cleaning and then disposed of in the correct color bag or cleaned with disinfection solution.
Exposure could lead to Hepatitis B or HIV both of which may not show up for years. The business should have a written exposure control plan. OSHA requires documentation from the employer when an employee is exposed. This documentation must be kept for 3 years following the exposure.
Always wear PPE, do not touch your mouth, do not reuse towels or sponges, handle laundry with caution, do not press down on trash, use properly labeled and color coded bags for items that contain potential bloodborne pathogens.
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