Universal precautions are essential to preventing the spread of bloodborne infections such as HIV and HBV (hepatitis B). Are your employees familiar with the concept and the practice?
“Universal precautions” means treating all blood and bodily fluids as if they are infectious—whether or not you think they really are. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best buddy who’s bleeding and needs first aid or if it’s someone you don’t know. You must always use gloves or another readily available safe barrier to prevent direct contact with blood.
Universal precautions include four essential safeguards: (1) using PPE to prevent potentially infectious contact, (2) using good hygiene practices, (3) avoiding direct contact with sharps, and (4) relying on safe housekeeping practices to keep materials and surfaces free from contamination.
PPE: Simple and Safe
Train employees to:
Wear gloves if there’s a risk of direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, or with possibly contaminated items or surfaces.
- Bandage cuts or broken skin before putting on gloves.
- Wear eye and face protection if there’s a risk of blood splashes or sprays.
- Wear protective clothing if there’s a risk of contact with blood or bodily fluids.
- Use only personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s been inspected for damage before wearing.
- Remove contaminated PPE carefully so contamination doesn’t touch your skin.
- Dispose of contaminated PPE in proper containers so contamination can’t spread.
Effective, 7-minute sessions providing comprehensive safety training at an average cost of $1 a day. Get the details.
Good Hygiene, Healthy Workers
Make sure workers understand what good hygiene means. For example, make sure they:
- Wash hands and exposed skin carefully with soap and water after exposure.
- Flush eyes, nose, or mouth with water as soon as possible after contact with blood or potentially infectious materials.
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics, or handle contact lenses in areas that could contain infectious materials.
OSHA says to treat all sharps as though they’re contaminated.
- Don’t shear, break, or bend needles.
- Don’t reach your hand into a container that might contain sharps.
- Use tongs or a similar tool, not your hands, to clean up broken glass.
- Place all used sharps immediately in puncture-resistant, leakproof containers.
Materials and Surfaces—Keep Them Clean
- Prompt and proper cleaning and decontamination for equipment or surfaces that have had contact with blood or potentially infectious materials
- Use of gloves and leakproof transport containers to handle laundry that may have had contact with blood or other potentially infectious fluids
Can you picture safety training in effective, 7-minute sessions? Get the details.
Got 7 Minutes to Protect Worker Health?
This essential information about universal precautions and bloodborne pathogen safety was all excerpted from the BLR® 7-Minute Safety Trainer. The universal precautions session provides you with a detailed trainer’s outline as well as an illustrated handout, quiz, and quiz answers to get your points across quickly—and cost-effectively.
All told, this "trainer’s bible" contains 50 prewritten meetings covering almost every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on, in a format designed to be taught in as little as 7 minutes. Major topics include:
—Fire safety and emergency response
—Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
—PPE use and care
—Housekeeping/slips, trips, and falls
—and dozens more
Just make as many copies as you need of the included handouts and quizzes, and you’re ready to train.
Equally important is that the program ships new meetings every quarter to respond to new and changed regulations. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over $1 a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.
If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days on a no-cost, no-obligation trial basis. Just let us know, and we’ll arrange it.
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