International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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The importance of cleaning employees & staff knowing about blood-borne pathogens (BBP)

09 Apr 2019 2:18 PM | Miguel Bonilla-Roman


In every industry around the world, cleaning employees or cleaning staff are need it to provide a specific or particular cleaning service. The cleaning employees can be refer as janitor, custodian, custodial portercleaner or caretaker. In this role, the person is responsible for the facilities general cleaning and regular maintenance. Some good facilities examples are hospitals, schools, and public or private residential accommodations. Since they work in so many varied facilities, the potential risk of being expose to BBP found in human blood and body fluids is very high.

Some of these high-risk facilities are relate to the health care sector: hospitals, medical laboratories and medical treatment facilities. BBP exposure and contamination problem is universal around the globe. For example, Hasnaa, Sally & Khaled (2019) found in their study that biological occupational hazards in the form of needle stick injuries can occur anywhere within the health care organization. Furthermore, at the global level the number of health care workers annually exposed to sharp injuries contaminated with HBV, HCV or HIV is estimate at 2.1 million, 926,000 and 327,000 respectively (Hasnaa, & et al, 2019). This is why is so important to know the universal BBP precautions and other safety procedures establish from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These procedures will help to keep them safe, avoiding direct contact to blood or any other body fluid.  

To acquire the necessary knowledge on how to prevent BBP transmission and cross-contamination; formal training is the established method that most organizations use to create strong knowledge on the BBP universal safety practices. This knowledge will be a “self-defense” mechanism in BBP exposure and cross-contamination for the cleaning employee in any facility. Sanabria, A. (2018) strongly suggest that “…the importance of providing employees with relevant training opportunities as well as the benefits of enhancing existing training programs to fit the needs of specific occupations and work settings (para 3)” is essential. In other words, BBP training is the “base line” for successful implementation of universal BBP safety practices in facilities.


Amina, A. E. M., and Samah, S. S. (2019). Safety Training Program for Clinical Laboratory Workers Regarding Prevention of Occupational Hazards. American Journal of Nursing Research, 7(2), p. 116-127 doi: 10.12691/ajnr-7-2-3

Hasnaa, A. A.; Sally A. H. and Khaled M. A. E. (January 2019). “Awareness of Health Care Workers about Infection Control Practice and Occupational Safety at a Tertiary Care Hospital, Cairo, Egypt”. Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of medicine, Ain Shams University. The Egyptian Journal of Community Medicine, 37(1), p. 54-62.

Sanabria, Amanda, "Implementing and Evaluating an Advanced Bloodborne Pathogen Training for the Department of Campus Recreation at Clemson University. A Mixed Methods Study of Training Effectiveness and Retention" (2018). All Theses. 2878.


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