I'm revising our outdated custodial SOP manual.
I'm stuck on the section about cleaning up bodily fluids.
In your organization, what determines when gloves are adequate protection and when you go to gloves, masks, goggles, and aprons?
20 years fixing, building, and managing facilitiesPreventive Maintenance
Working in a healthcare environment, it seems that most associates that come into contact with bodily fluids wear the gloves as well as their regular uniform (smocks/lab coats, scrubs, etc...).
I am not sure if this would help you or not or if you even still need this info...but I ran into this online and thought it was well-stated:
Personal Protective Equipment
Probably the first thing to do in any situation where you may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens is to ensure you are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). For example, you may have noticed that emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses, dentists, dental assistants, and other health care professionals always wear latex or protective gloves. This is a simple precaution they take in order to prevent blood or potentially infectious body fluids from coming in contact with their skin. To protect yourself, it is essential to have a barrier between you and the potentially infectious material.
Rules to follow:
Always wear personal protective equipment in exposure situations.
Remove PPE that is torn or punctured, or has lost its ability to function as a barrier to bloodborne pathogens.
Replace PPE that is torn or punctured.
Remove PPE before leaving the work area.
If you work in an area with routine exposure to blood or potentially infectious materials, the necessary PPE should be readily accessible. Contaminated gloves, clothing, PPE, or other materials should be placed in appropriately labeled bags or containers until it is disposed of, decontaminated, or laundered. It is important to find out where these bags or containers are located in your area before beginning your work.
Gloves should be made of latex, nitril, rubber, or other water impervious materials. If glove material is thin or flimsy, double gloving can provide an additional layer of protection. Also, if you know you have cuts or sores on your hands, you should cover these with a bandage or similar protection as an additional precaution before donning your gloves. You should always inspect your gloves for tears or punctures before putting them on. If a glove is damaged, don't use it! When taking contaminated gloves off, do so carefully. Make sure you don't touch the outside of the gloves with any bare skin, and be sure to dispose of them in a proper container so that no one else will come in contact with them, either.
Always check your gloves for damage before using them
Anytime there is a risk of splashing or vaporization of contaminated fluids, goggles and/or other eye protection should be used to protect your eyes. Again, bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted through the thin membranes of the eyes so it is important to protect them. Splashing could occur while cleaning up a spill, during laboratory procedures, or while providing first aid or medical assistance.
Face shields may be worn in addition to goggles to provide additional face protection. A face shield will protect against splashes to the nose and mouth.
Aprons may be worn to protect your clothing and to keep blood or other contaminated fluids from soaking through to your skin.
Normal clothing that becomes contaminated with blood should be removed as soon as possible because fluids can seep through the cloth to come into contact with skin. Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible, and it should be placed in an appropriately labeled bag or container until it is decontaminated, disposed of, or laundered.
Remember to use universal precautions and treat all blood or potentially infectious body fluids as if they are contaminated. Avoid contact whenever possible, and whenever it's not, wear personal protective equipment. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to come in contact with blood or other body fluids and you don't have any standard personal protective equipment handy, you can improvise. Use a towel, plastic bag, or some other barrier to help avoid direct contact.
The answer to this question varies with the environment. Are we talking about a manufacturing environment where you ae cleaning up after a minor injury? Or, is this a healthcare environment?
Always error on the side of caution.
This is a training issue. We need to help our employees understand the risk of exposure while performing clean-up procedures in your particular environment. Your clean-up kits need to contain all the forms of PPE you mentioned. But, employees need to be taught how to assess their potential exposure and choose the proper PPE.
At the very minimum, employees should be using latex or poly gloves. I suggest they also be taught to use a plastic gown that covers their arms, body and upper legs to prevent contaminated clean-up rags from contaminating employee clothing during transport to biohazard labled trash containers.
I suggest you have a competant safety engineer assess your particular environment and potential exposure issues. Let that person design an SOP and training plan appropriate for your environment. Make sure you train all potentially exposed employees annually and that employees are conversant on PPE selection and clean-up procedures. Lastly, make sure your clean-up kits include all the PPE and equipment you have identified in your SOP and that someone in your organization periodically validates the materials are available if needed for emergency clean-up.
I agree with pokornyja, i work in lab area with a medical examiner facility also part of the building, the ppe there is much more stringent than in the lab settings so to say the very least you have to examine what the threats are, if they are just mopping a bathroom floor then gloves would be a good idea and they probably don't need a plastic gown but if they are in an area where there is a potential to splash then a plastic gown face mask/shield goggles would be the way to go you would as far as a training issue if they are a contracted company then they should have received training and in fact the custodial company should be able to give you a copy of their guidelinesin which you would just have to adopt the policies into your company, here we do stray away from latex and use the nitrile as they hold up better are more resistant to chemicals and seem better as far as allergies go (many are allergic to latex)
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