For some people blood spills in the workplace can be scary or unnerving, but there isn’t any reason to panic as long as you follow the proper cleanup procedures. If you have the right materials available and know how to conduct a thorough cleanup it will make the process a lot less stressful and much smoother for everyone involved.
The following is more information on why it is necessary to have the proper blood cleanup and how to perform a cleanup safely that can neutralize potential health hazards from occurring.
Potential Bloodborne Health Hazards
Several serious illnesses can be potentially transmitted from being exposed to blood, and it is necessary to have the proper cleanup procedures in order to prevent exposed people from getting sick.
Among those diseases are Hepatitis A, B and C. These are viral infections of the liver. Although Hepatitis A tends to be fairly self-limited, both Hepatitis b and C are incurable, chronic conditions that are linked with other serious liver disease, which include cirrhosis and cancer. One of the common ways of acquiring Hepatitis B or C is being accidentally exposed to the blood of infected individuals.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also may be acquired through making contact with an infected person’s blood. If left untreated, the virus might progress into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
It is very important to remember that some people are infected without having any symptoms and might not even be aware that they have the condition. That is why you need to always assume that blood is contaminated, since you can’t afford to put your or others health at risk by making the wrong guess.
Steps To Cleaning A Blood Spill Up
Cleaning a blood spill up is a straightforward process. However, each of the steps should be performed with attention and care. The following is how you can perform a cleanup safely that will leave people and the area free of any contamination:
1. Get the Immediate Area Protected
Just as soon as you are aware that you have a potential blood spill, your first step is to get the immediate area cleared of as many people as you can and get the spill contained. For instance, stand guard at the blood bill site in order to ensure that individuals don’t step in the blood accidentally and spread it everywhere on their shoes.
2. Put Protective Apparel On
After the spill site has been secured and people are all out of the way, put a pair of disposable vinyl or latex gloves on in order to protect yourself from being exposed during the cleanup process. Make sure to first roll your sleeves up and take of any coats or other clothes that might accidentally come into contact with blood.
3. Get The Blood Spill Contained
After you have gloves on and are ready to get started cleaning, get out several paper towels and put them on top of the blood to start the absorption process. Let the blood soak up in the paper towels for around one minute; don’t try wiping the spill up with towels, since that will smear the blood and make the spill area larger also.
4. Get a Disinfection Solution Prepared
While the towels are absorbing the blood, get a solution mixed of nine parts of water and one part of laundry bleach in order to get a safe disinfectant created. If you don’t have the right equipment to take precise measurements, then err on the side of mixing in less water and more bleach. As long as you don’t dilute the bleach beyond ten percent, then the disinfectant will still be able to kill the pathogens.
5. Get the Surface Disinfected
After you have prepared your bleach solution, pick the blood-soaked paper towels up careful and throw them away in a plastic garbage bag. The put a couple of clean paper towels over the spill area and then pour your disinfection solution slowly over the towels. Let the solution penetrate into the towels and then spread into the spill site margins.
6. Conduct a Final Cleanup
Let the disinfection solution soak in for 20 minutes, then remove the saturated paper towels and put them inside of a trash bag. Use other paper towels to wipe up any disinfectant that remains. Before you let anyone enter, let the spill site air dry first.
Before finishing up, closely examine the spill site for blood droplets and splatters that you might have missed. If there is any residual blood, dampen a paper towel with a disinfection solution and wipe the surfaces down, and let the air dry.
Finalize your cleanup process by throwing away your gloves as well as any other cleaning materials that you used into the same trash bag that you previously used. Tie up the trash bag, and then put it into another clean bag for extra protection and then put it into the appropriate waste container.