How Cleaning Services Employees Are at Risk for Bloodborne Pathogens

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Bloodborne pathogens training isn’t just useful to medical professionals and first responders — it’s beneficial for cleaning services, as well. Because they’re responsible for handling messes and bodily fluids in every area of a business, housekeeping staff may contract and spread bloodborne diseases more easily than other personnel. 

By understanding the risks and protocols around cleaning up bloodborne pathogens, you’ll be an important part of your team’s health and crisis management plans.

How Are Cleaning Services Exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens?

The most common bloodborne pathogens include:• HIV and AIDS• Hepatitis B• Hepatitis C

As defined by OSHA, janitorial staff at healthcare facilities encounter occupational exposure to these illnesses. That means that exposure is an expected part of the job. Even when carrying out afterhours duties, housekeeping staff can be exposed to bloodborne pathogens through:• Getting stabbed by improperly disposed-of needles in trash cans• Cleaning up spills and fluids• Routine cleaning of office and clinical areas• Handling medical tools that haven’t been sanitized or stored correctly

As such, medical services are required to train housekeeping staff about bloodborne pathogens and give them the tools to properly clean them up.

Cleaning services at non-medical businesses may also be exposed, but because disposing of medical waste isn’t necessarily part of their jobs, bloodborne pathogens training isn’t always required. However, they are still exposed to bloodborne illnesses. This might happen if blood comes into contact with scrapes, cuts or mucous membranes including the mouth, nose and eyelids.

Maybe you’re cleaning up some broken glass on a walkway. Unbeknownst to you, the person who broke the glass is infected with a bloodborne illness and cut their hand on the glass. After cleaning, you wipe sweat from your eyes. You have now been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen.

How To Protect Yourself and Your Coworkers

That situation is common enough to be a little frightening, but there are plenty of ways to avoid exposure. Cleaning services and janitorial staff protect themselves by:• Using personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves, masks, face shields and aprons• Treating all bodily fluids as if they’re infected• Containing spills immediately and disinfecting the area• Disposing of contaminated cleaning tools properly• Handling all trash bags as if they contain sharp objects• Placing all infectious material in sealable, color-coded bags• Turning contaminated clothing inside out as it’s removed, containing all pathogens

For cleaning services to employ all of these safety methods correctly, they must develop comprehensive exposure plans and train their employees about bloodborne pathogens.

Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Cleaning Services fromHIPAA Exams

Whether cleaning services work in healthcare-related businesses or not, they all benefit from bloodborne pathogens training. Within an hour, employees learn how to identify risks, compare different types of bloodborne pathogens, use PPE correctly and respond to potential exposure. This BBP course from HIPAA Exams educates cleaning services about all CDC and OSHA guidelines on bloodborne pathogens. With this knowledge, cleaning services stay safer and protect the businesses they serve.

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BSV Staff

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