Within any business, regardless of the type, your employees should always be considered as your most valuable asset. As an employer, one of my most important jobs is to make sure that all of my employees are properly educated on how to protect themselves from the many dangers within our field of work. One of the most common dangers are bloodborne pathogens. Making sure that your employees are properly educated not only protects them, it protects your business, and your client as well.
There are many things that employees should be educated on so that they prevent cross contamination and the spread of bloodborne pathogens. For example, an employee should never attempt to compress trash with their hands, containers should be properly labeled, color coded bags must be used when necessary, and rags or sponges should never be reused. These examples are just a portion of what staff members should be educated on. Not practicing proper precautions could contaminate an entire building, which puts all of your client’s employees and customer population at risk.
As a cleaning professional, it is not uncommon to become exposed to bloodborne pathogens at one time or another. If an employee or a member of your staff is exposed, they can become gravely ill if all necessary precautions are not taken. According to OSHA, cleaning professionals should treat ALL bodily fluids as if they are infected, that is the easiest way to prevent an employee from getting infected and preventing the spread of disease. In the event an employee does become unknowingly exposed, it is important they fully understand the signs and symptoms of the different types of bloodborne pathogens such as HBV and HIV because it can be a period of time before symptoms appear. If an employee is knowingly exposed, it is imperative that they notify a supervisor immediately so that the proper protocols put in place to disinfect the area can be carried out.