International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Importance of Understanding Bloodborne Pathogens in the Cleaning Industry

26 Sep 2020 5:16 PM | Jessica Ocasio

Understanding what bloodborne pathogens are, how they affect people, and how to clean and disinfect in areas most known to have them present is critical in the cleaning industry.  Understanding how virus and bacteria spread will dictate the type of PPE and chemicals used by a cleaning company.  It is essential that staff working in the cleaning industry are familiar with these types of pathogens and how to properly clean for their safety and the safety of others who inhabit the space. 

If staff are not trained properly accidents can happen.  For example, if staff who are changing linens need to be aware that bodily fluids could be present in the linens to avoid accidental exposure to such fluids.  These fluids could be blood, urine, fecal matter, semen, etc.  Proper PPE should be worn at all times which can include mask, gloves and gowns.  In addition to fluids, staff should also be aware of the possibility of a needle stick should one accidently be left behind in a patient or client bed.  If hazardous fluid is suspected to be in the contents, then staff should dress accordingly.  These items can transmit bloodborne disease so being educated and being properly trained on how to handle them is essential.

In summation, it is for the safety of the staff working in the cleaning industry to understand the importance of bloodborne pathogens, how they transmit and what possible lifelong implications may be lurking should there be an accidental exposure.  One should know to report an possible exposure as soon as possible to his or her superiors and follow necessary first aid protocol should he or she suspect and accidental exposure. 


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