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The Importance of Bloodborne Pathogen Education in the Workplace

28 Jun 2022 4:56 PM | Rashawn McCraney

It is important for employees and cleaning staff to understand what bloodborne pathogens are so that they can properly clean them while staying safe. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that are present in human blood, vomit, saliva and other bodily fluids. When handling these fluids, it is important for all employees to treat them as if they are potentially infectious to reduce the chances of exposure to the diseases they can cause. 

When coming into contact with these bodily fluids, employees must follow company protocol for proper cleanup and disposal methods. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times when handling these fluids. This includes disposable gloves, protective eyewear, a disposable face mask and a disposable apron. These items will ensure that any possible bloodborne pathogens will not come into contact with the employees nose, mouth or any breaks in the skin. The appropriate cleaning solutions should be used for each fluid and cleanup should be done carefully to prevent splashing of any fluids. Once cleanup is complete, all rags and PPE used should be disposed of in a properly labeled trash bin (red or orange in color) to notify others that the materials in the trash are hazardous. Employees must immediately wash their hands after cleaning these fluids. 

It is important to follow these steps to prevent exposure for both oneself and other employees when handling these fluids. Employees also need to know what to do in the event of a potential exposure to these pathogens. Employees should seek out their supervisor immediately and inform them of their potential exposure to these pathogens. Their supervisor will follow the company’s exposure control plan so that the employee can seek the proper treatment for any potential exposure. Knowledge in bloodborne pathogens is crucial for all employees so that both proper cleanup methods and exposure prevention are used whenever these pathogens are encountered. 

In the cleaning industry, it is crucial for employees and staff to have guidelines and protocols when dealing with bloodborne pathogens. Providing extensive knowledge to all staff can help avoid and prevent serious and life threatening injuries. Studies show that as many as one-third of all sharps injuries occur during disposal. Accidents are bound to happen, and in situations of an emergency, following a bloodborne pathogen exposure incident protocol can be a determining factor of life or death. Post-exposure management is an integral part of a complete program for preventing infection following exposure incidents. Educating all employees and staff on what bloodborne pathogens are and providing clear and up to date programs and protocols in how to efficiently deal with bloodborne pathogen incidences can greatly help with ensuring the safety of all employees.


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