Bloodborne pathogens are an inherent occupational hazard for cleaning employees that pose a health risk if they are not prepared to work in environments with exposure to them. A pathogen is a disease-causing microorganism therefore a blood borne pathogen as such is a type found in human blood. HIV and HPV are examples of bloodborne pathogens. It is imperative for cleaning company employees to learn about working in environments with exposure to blood borne pathogens in order to minimize risk of infection while properly cleaning contaminated areas.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention established the Universal Precautions in order to minimize the risk to exposure. This is an approach emphasizing that blood and certain body fluids of patients should be considered potentially infectious while adhering to infection control precautions. Furthermore, referring to your company’s exposure control plan when working in contaminated environments plays a vital role in handling contaminated material.
Protective practices such as proper use and disposal of proper protective equipment, disposal of contaminated objects, cleaning and disinfecting contaminated areas to simply properly washing your hands are a few examples of steps vital to working in and properly treating contaminated areas.
In the event that a cleaning employee suspects they may have been exposed or infected they should quickly contact their supervisor so the proper exposure protocols put into action
Cleaning employees along with anyone wanting to learn more about working in environments exposed to bloodborne pathogens should review the Blood Borne Pathogen Standard for the Workplace and can get additional information at www.osha.gov.