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Bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV and HBV, are highly infectious and at times deadly viruses, which if not handled with proper precaution and care, can infect our staff and clients. Therefore it is important for those in charge of cleaning to understand how to stay safe and minimize risk while disinfecting areas that might be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. One should always be mindful to follow ensure the "Universal Caution" approach established by OSHA is being followed by cleaning staff, and appropriate equipment, such as cloves and glasses is being used at all times.
When the cleaning and disinfection of the area are completed it is also important to ensure that all contaminated materials, such as towels, sponges, sheets, etc are properly disposed of in the appropriate container, and that all staff thoughly wash their hands. Cleaning Staff should be well aware of the symptoms which can be found in bloodborne pathogens such as fatigue and lack of appetite, so that they may inform their supervisor and comply with exposure protocol. In all things, one should follow the facility one is working in's exposure control plan.
Finally, all staff should be warned to avoid behavior that increases their risk of infection, such as manually compressing a trash bag, touching their face while in a contaminated area and other habits which can prove dangerous in this context. The cleaning, disposing, and disinfecting of bloodborne pathogens on surfaces and contained material in hospitals and other facilities ensure a safe a productive environment for people saving lives, and as such should be handled with the utmost care.
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