- Helping a bleeding person without wearing protective gloves
- A portable toilet that was knocked over by wind and is leaking
- Work on an existing sewage line
- Drug paraphernalia being shared
- Punctures with contaminated knives, broken glass, needles etc.
- Splashed material into the mucus membranes (eyes, nose and mouth)
- Contamination on non-intact skin (burns, chapped, abrasions, etc)
You cannot contract illness through casual contact:
- Hugging someone
- If they prepared your food
- Coughing or sneezing around you
- Sharing toilet or drinking facilities
What kinds of illness can you contract and how serious are the results?
- HIV - 42,000 new cases each year, can lead to AIDS and death
- Hep B – liver inflammation, may lead to cancer, takes months to subside
- Hep C – liver inflammation, may lead to cancer, lifetime effects
- Hep B is 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Some pathogens, like Hep B, remain infectious for a long time. For instance, if someone with Hep B bleeds, and the blood stain dries on a surface, the virus can remain alive in the stain for weeks. HIV will die off in 1-3 days.
Universal Precautions – assume all blood and body fluids are infected, treat everything as potentially harmful.
- Always wear exam gloves when providing first aid, or when in contact with sewage, etc – don’t use maxiflex or G-tek gloves
- Wear PPE – medical exam gloves, glasses, one-way CPR shield
- Keep cuts and sores covered while healing to prevent direct contact
- Wash hands regularly during the day and before eating or leaving for the day, use antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer or iodine.
- Disinfect surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids with dilute bleach
- Ensure good housekeeping, don’t allow contaminated materials to remain onsite
- Don’t clean up blood or body fluids unless trained to do so
- Report the presence of blood or body fluids to a supervisor
- Wash all exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water, even if you wore gloves
- Collect contaminated material in a biohazard bag for disposal
What to do if someone bleeds on the jobsite or a toilet is leaking? Disinfection can be done by diluting regular bleach into water, 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Pour the solution all around the contaminated area and leave in place for at least 15 minutes. The spill can then be cleaned up, absorbed and disposed of as trash or in the sanitary sewer.
If a worker comes in contact with the blood of another individual, have that person wash thoroughly with soap and water, and contact the safety office for additional instructions.