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Bloodborne pathogens refer to the pathogen micro organisms present in blood that cause viruses and diseases. Bloodborne pathogens include viruses like Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Cleaning staff may come in contact with these pathogens when removing trash, changing laundry, or cleaning up after something that has become ill. Bloodborne pathogens are spread through blood and bodily fluids, like vomit and saliva. According to OSHA, The most common method of transmission is when an infected person's blood enters another person's bloodstream through an open wound or cut, or when inhaled through the mouth or nose (https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/bloodbornepathogens.pdf).
Subsequently, as a commercial and residential cleaner it is very likely that our staff may come in contact with these bloodborne pathogens. Furthermore, failure to properly handle those pathogens could lead to deadly exposure by our staff members causing illnesses and disease. In addition, by not properly handling these materials can also increase the chances of spreading the bacteria throughout other contaminated and non-contaminated areas increasing the chances of greater exposure to staff and others. Moreover, the potential of exposure to viruses like HIV could prove deadly as there is no cure.
Consequently, OSHA’s Universal Precautions standards dictate that blood and bodily fluids from all patients should be considered potentially infectious and such precautions should always be taken when handling the materials. Therefore, it is ASAC’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our staff if and/or when they may encounter such germs. The first step is creating, maintaining, and frequently updating our OSHA approved bloodborne pathogens handling safety procedures. The plan will address:
The manner in which bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted to otherwise healthy individuals is a relatively easy occurrence. Especially within the commercial cleaning industry, as we are often requested to clean medical facilities, doctor’s and dental offices, and other industrial areas where bodily fluids may be present. Therefore, it will be absolutely vital for our employees to be well informed and continually updated concerning the proper procedures surrounding the handling of bloodborne pathogens.
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