Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that are infectious and can contaminate other humans. 5.6 million workers are at risk of being exposed to bloodborne pathogens and all occupational exposure puts workers at risk for infection. Exposure occurs when the pathogen comes into contact with the employees mucus membranes or breaks in the skin.
Always use Universal Precaution and treat all blood and body fluids from all patients as infectious, and make sure precautions are taken to minimize exposure. Wear the proper PPE. Never eat, drink, smoke, or apply lib balm in an area that could be infected. Never manually compress trash as sharp objects or needles may be hidden inside. Never reuse sponges or towels that have been used for infectious cleanup. Use tongs or other mechanical means to pick up dropped sharps. Handle contaminated laundry as little as possible with as little agitation as possible. Sharp objects and needles may be hidden in the laundry. When cleaning a spill do so in a way that won't cause splash or spatter. Use appropriate cleaners and wash hands with antibacterial soap. Make sure to disinfect any equipment following use.
62-88% of SHARPS injuries are preventable. Cleaning professionals need to be educated in bloodborne pathogen risks as an important part of their training. The best defense is a thorough offense.
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