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Blood Borne Pathogens - What You Don`t Know Can Kill You

30 Apr 2019 8:51 AM | Anthony Willis

Being in the cleaning industry for some, we can be lulled into thinking that we know it all but following my review of the blood borne pathogens course, a few things became clear for me.  First, it is imperative to wear PPE at all times.  While it is probably safe to assume that most of us wear gloves, I have not been as diligent about PPE to cover me eyes and when I have used eye protection is has been in the form of safety glasses, which are more appropriate for construction work. Goggles are more appropriate for cleaning in environments where any type of bodily fluids may be present as they provide far greater protection and reduce the chance of contact with bodily fluids.

Secondly, something that I have been guilty of many times in the past is eating and drinking either before or after cleaning, while on a customer's premises.  I did not realize that OSHA guidelines warn against this practice.  I think that most people can understand how easy this error can occur, especially when working evenings and not want to elongate our time away from our homes and family, it is pretty easy to see how and why some might be apt to eat at work.  Now that this practice has been brought to me attention as being potentially, hazardous, I'll be sure not to do it any more and I'll make sure to pass this along to my team members, especially those who clean medical facilities.

Finally, it never dawned on me to sanitize trash cans that contain potentially hazardous materials, even where no visible rips or leaks can be seen.  Going forward, I am going to sanitize all trash cans every night to further reduce the possibility of cross contamination. 

Learn More About Bloodborne Pathogens Here

Comments

  • 28 Apr 2019 6:06 PM | RICARDO BAENA
    After watching the Bloodborne Pathegens video it became more clear that my cleaning crew and myself must take many additional safety precautions. The standards set forth in the video from OSHA is to help keep everyone in the janitorial services aware of potential cleaning hazards. This is too keep us all safe around potential blood and other bodily fluid contaminates. Always wear gloves, safety glasses,do not smoke, drink or eat, or apply lip balm when cleaning potential contaminated areas. Always remove gloves after cleaning in a careful manner not to touch the outside of the glove with your skin. Then thoroughly wash your hands. It is important to dispose any rags or cleaning materials that have come in contact with bloodborne pathogens in the proper colored or labeled bag or bin. When pulling bags from trash cans, do not compress the bags in case there are hidden needles. Clean any contaminated area with OSHA approved disinfectants for bloodborne pathogens.
    Bloodborne pathogens may be contaminated with HBV or Hepatitis B, HIV or the virus that causes Aids, and other dangerous bacteria. Always treat the cleaning areas as if they were hazardous. Workers should be vaccinated for the HBV before beginning a health care cleaning routine. If you ever get hurt by an item that has been contaminated with any bloodborne pathogen, you should contact your supervisor immediately to file a report. A health care professional should then be contacted to assess the situation to prevent further harm. It could take years for any side effects of the contaminate to appear.
    It is imperative that the bloodborne pathogen cleaning standards be followed. Our cleaning standards when it comes to bloodborne pathogens is the first line of defense to keep my crew safe as well as the people who will follow the next day. The health care workers and patients who will use the facilities we cleaned will expect it to be disinfected properly.
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