Safety Tip of the Week – Bloodborne Pathogens and Helping the Injured

In the workplace, bloodborne pathogens (BBP) may be transmitted when blood or other infectious body fluids come in contact with mucous membranes (your eyes, nose, mouth), non-intact skin (due to cuts, abrasions, burns, rashes, paper cuts), or by handling or touching contaminated materials or surfaces.

Responding to Injuries:

Ensure your own safety by following these universal precautions to protect yourself from bloodborne pathogens:

  • Check the area for hazards before responding;
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are infectious;
  • Wear disposable gloves, face shields, masks, aprons, and other barrier devices to prevent contact;
  • Have the victim bandage his or her own wounds, if able;
  • Don’t pick up sharp objects with your hands as they could puncture your gloves and skin;
  • Clean and disinfect the affected area with a solution of 10 parts water to one-part bleach, or another appropriate disinfecting solution;
  • Remove gloves and other protective equipment in a manner that prevents exposure;
  • Place all contaminated items in appropriately marked bags or containers;
  • Thoroughly wash any part of your body that may have been exposed to a bodily fluid with soap and water;
  • Report any exposure or unprotected contact with potentially infectious bodily fluids to your employer so that medical follow-up can be made; and
  • Disinfect cleaning equipment to prevent spreading viruses to other areas of the facility.
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