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Cleaning staff are uniquely exposed to bloodborne pathogens. We are the people called in or left with the responsibility to clean spaces where exposures may have happened. We could be called to clean up the bodily fluids that lead to exposure, the trash we carry out may inadvertently have needles in them or we may be required to remove biohazards within our scope of work.
The specific challenge exists for cleaners when they work in different environments. When a cleaner may be at work somewhere like an insurance office but then later that same day may find themselves cleaning an urgent care center the risks change. The universal precautions standard ensures that the employee will always be safe.
Training on bloodborne pathogens is critical related to cleaners. They frequently find themselves working alone and making sure they understand the proper protocol without direct supervision is the only way to make the employee safe. For employers, prevention and training besides improving the life of the employee is also a much better financial decision. Much easier to train than it is to treat them post-exposure.
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