International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Bloodborne Pathogens & Pandemic Situations

13 Sep 2020 6:07 PM | Lena Wind

It has never been more obvious than now, with the current pandemic situation, that we cannot take for granted cleaning procedures or protocols. We must be vigilant in developing a thorough offensive plan. This plan must include a clear understanding of what a pathogen is and what is required to develop a defensive and strategic plan. This plan should outline clearly, proper practices, handling of areas and transportation of contaminated items.

The first step is understanding that pathogens are presented in human blood and that they can cause serious and deadly diseases in humans. Exposure to these pathogens happen when they come into contact with mucus membranes such as the nose, mouth, or open cuts or breaks in skin.  This exposure can occur from blood, vomit, and saliva. Diseases such as HBV, Hepititus, HIV can be contracted from such exposure. This is why, a Universal Precaution Approach must be seriously adhered to.

OSHA requires that the Universal Approach should be clearly outlined and posted at each work site. It is imperative that it be followed. Should contamination occur Specific documentation must be submitted. This also requires records to be kept for 3 years. If an cleaning employee is exposed, they must know that the first thing they should do is immediately report it to their supervisor and notify their physician.  The employee should be made aware of potential symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and light color stools.  Remember the Best Defense is a Thorough Offense.


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