There’s a danger in the workplace that’s not even visible to the naked eye, yet it could change your life forever if you’re exposed to it. There are trainings set to give you necessary information you need to protect yourself against exposure to these harmful microorganisms, and to know what to do in the event that exposure occurs. Bloodborne pathogens are bacteria and viruses that live in blood and other body fluids. These pathogens can cause devastating diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) diseases that can make you very sick and even be lethal. If these fluids are contaminated and they touch your eyes, mouth or nose, or an open wound of any kind even something as small as a hangnail or a paper cut bloodborne pathogens can enter your system.
Treat every situation as through the person is a bloodborne pathogen carrier, no matter how well you know him or her, no matter how remotely the person fits the idea you have of someone who may be infected. Universal precautions are very important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Cover any opening in the skin with a dry bandage. Wearing gloves for any anticipated contact with body fluids. If you wear gloves and you stick yourself with a needle or damage the gloves, you still have some protection. Never intentionally pick up broken glass with bare hands or gloved hands. Use dust pan and broom Never push trash down into cans with hands.
In wrapping up there are certain precautions that job must adhere to:
n Do not place hands into used sharps containers
n Use a brush or tongs to place broken glass or other sharp items into a dust pan for disposal
n Shearing, breaking, bending, re-capping of contaminated sharps is prohibited
n Do not remove needle from used tube holder after phlebotomy
More info on bloodborne pathogens here.