Workers can be at risk of being exposed to blood borne pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines and standards that apply to blood borne pathogens and blood spill cleanup of the contaminated area. According to the CDC, hepatitis B virus can survive for at least one week in dried blood. The virus may survive on environmental surfaces, contaminated needles and/or instruments.
The medical profession and the Environment Protection Agency (EFP) have developed procedures to assure the safety of workers and the public at large. The exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. For optimal health protection, these procedures must be adhered to.
In order to remove, inactivate or destroy blood borne pathogens on a surface or item, there must be a physical or chemical removal performed so that they can no longer potentially infect an individual. Then, the surface will be rendered safe for handling.
Regulated waste includes blood, items caked in blood, contaminated sharps or other biohazard waste that contains blood and is potentially infectious.
It is important to use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved guidelines when performing a blood spill cleanup that include the following:
• PPE Personal protective equipment
• Enzymatic Solutions
• EPA registered disinfectants
• Autoclavable biohazard bags
During a blood spill cleanup all blood must be cleaned thoroughly before applying the disinfectant and infectious waste must be disposed of according to federal, state, and local regulations. The surface should be left in contact with disinfectant for a number of minutes based on the risks involved, and the type of chemical used.
Appropriate and approved disinfectants are determined by the EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA oversees the registration of anti-microbial products. A list of the most recent anti-microbials is produced by the Office of Pesticide Programs. Appropriate disinfectants are important because other solutions are not designed to remediate areas of contamination when performing a blood spill cleanup.
OSHA requires work surfaces be cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant when performing blood spill cleanup. There is an approved list of EPA registered antimicrobial products such as tuberculocides and sterilants for equipment sterilization. All equipment and work surfaces should be routinely cleaned with hospital grade disinfectant.
Never attempt to remediate a biotrauma cleanup effort on your own. Biotrauma ® technicians are trained professionals equipped with proper gear and knowledge to successfully mitigate the physical and psychological risks associated with trauma and crime scenes.