There is an old adage about assuming. Most people have likely heard this already so it does not need to be repeated. Assuming can carry a negative connotation, taking the easy way out instead of doing the hard work of verifying information. Not putting in the time and not really caring about the outcome. Assuming ranks right up there with those darn Millennials that we like to blame everything on.
However, when Bloodborne Pathogens are involved, assuming is exactly what should be done. One should always assume that when working around bodily fluids, that those fluids are contaminated. Assuming is one of the pillars of OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. Those pillars sit on the foundation, education and training. Educating ourselves and our teams on the what these pathogens are, how they can effect us, and how we can protect ourselves is vital to the safety of our workforce, our customers, and our environments. It is crucial that all parties understand their role regarding safely working around Bloodborne Pathogens, from the way they are handled, the way they are transported and disposed of, how the area and equipment is cleaned and disinfected, and what Personal Protective Equipment is required to safety work around these hazards. It is also important that our teams understand the resources available and procedures to follow if there is a potential exposure. And as with many things, this training and education should be part of an continuous education strategy that keeps our teams as up to date on any risks, strategies, and procedures.
So in this case, assume away. It is not always a bad thing or a short cut. You know what they say happens when you assume; you might save the life of you and me!
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