International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Bloodborne pathogens: Risk & Precautionary actions for Cleaners

05 Feb 2020 7:07 AM | Maria Suazo

Every day facilities like hospitals, office doctors or dentists are visited by hundreds of people with many different diseases.  During or after these visits the risk of contagious with bodily fluids containing bloodborne pathogens is present.  The ​Bloodborne Pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria that are carried in blood and can cause disease in people.

In the first instance we consider doctors, nurses or asistants in danger of contact; But it is also necessary to think about cleaning people.

The cleaning staff is exposed to the bloodborne pathogens during the cleaning process.  In these bodily fluids like blood, saliva or throw up can be present Bloodborne pathogens like  malaria, syphilis, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For this reason it is necessary that all cleaning staff follow precautionary procedures to eliminate the risk of infection. The first and most important guide is toconsider all blood and bodily  fluids as infectious. Before starting the cleaning, the cleaner staff must be wearing the  right personal protective equipment, consistent with glasses and gloves. The contents of garbage bags should not be pushed. Cover breaks in exposed skin. And if found syringes or other sharp objects on the floor or other superficies use  tweezers to lift them to disposal in the containers designed for these kind objects. Wash hands after finishing with antibacterial soap and in certain areas avoid eating, drinking ,smoking or applying balm. If for any reason any contact exists, the cleaner should inform his supervisor and together report to the medical center or if his working alone he contacts directly somebody from the medical center to make a report.

Finally, remember that the first and best option is always to use precautionary measures.


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