St. Olaf College

Bloodborne Pathogens


Exposure Control Manual



Section 4
HOUSEKEEPING




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HANDLING SHARPS AND OTHER WASTES



  • A. Sharps containers must be kept upright, replaced routinely and kept from becoming overfilled. When removed from the work area, containers will be closed to prevent spillage or protrusion during handling, storage and shipment to proper disposal sites as specified by local, state and federal law. If container leakage is possible, the container shall be placed in a secondary container which is closable, properly labeled and/or color-coded and capable of containing leakage through the shipping or handling process.

  • B. Re-usable containers shall not be manually opened, emptied nor cleaned in any manner that would expose employees to the risk of percutaneous injury. All regulated waste shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations of the United States, states and territories and their political subdivisions.


  • C. Other unregulated but potentially biohazardous wastes shall be placed in closable containers similar to those described for sharps except for the requirement that they be puncture proof. Should the outer surfaces of a waste container become contaminated, the entire container shall be placed in a second container of equal specification.



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WASTE DISPOSAL
  • A. All biological waste and potentially hazardous non-biological waste including all disposable medical products are to be discarded into a color-coded container before being secured and transported for incineration or sterilization.

  • B. All waste from any unit of this facility in which there is any possibility of contamination by infected biological waste will be collected in color-coded impervious bags labeled "Infectious Waste or Biohazard."

  • C. Infectious waste and biohazard bags will be closed and stored only in designated collection areas.

  • D. Employees will not transfer into another container, sort through the contents of infectious waste bags, or sort among closed bags.

  • E. All infectious waste containers will be transported as soon as feasible by an approved infectious waste handler.

  • F. Disposable products shall be used in a manner consistent with the manufacturer's written instructions and packaging directions. Procedures involving the safe and efficient use, and means of disposal shall be established by the department using the product.

  • G. When working with suspected infectious materials, Universal Precautions shall be taken as the first line of defense against occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Therefore, at a minimum, all biological waste and any contaminated waste collected from locations in which a potential exposure has occurred shall be considered infectious and handled accordingly:

    • 1. Gloves will be worn at all times when gathering, containerizing, transporting or destroying waste which has any chance of having been exposed to blood, other human fluids or tissue. Use additional appropriate personal protective equipment is splattering is possible.

    • 2. Do not over fill containers such that they cannot be easily and tightly closed without stretching the container.

    • 3. All containers will be tightly closed or sealed prior to being taken from the area in which the waste was created. Closed containers shall not be left in the area in which they were filled but shall be moved promptly to designated storage areas to await timely transportation to an approved decontamination facility.

    • 4. If the outside of any bag which may contain biohazardous waste is observed to be punctured or damp from internal leakage, that container shall be placed into another qualified container by a Classification I or II employee wearing appropriate PPE before it is moved or otherwise handled.

    • 5. A two-person method of double bagging is preferred, and shall be used if a second worker is reasonably available and properly dressed for handling potentially infected material. The partner should cuff the clean bag over his hands and open it widely. The person handling the defective or contaminated container should place it carefully in the second bag. The clean bag is then closed securely by the partner holding the bag.

    • 6. Spills from biohazardous waste containers shall be cleaned up with an approved disinfectant. Blood spills require particular attention and shall be cleaned up immediately using 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) mixed 1 part to 10 parts water or a quaternary disinfectant with chloride.

    • 7. Immediately after containerizing potentially hazardous waste, cleaning spills from containers holding potentially hazardous waste or handling filled waste containers, employees shall wash their hands in accordance with Universal Precautions and the handwashing standards described in this plan.



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CLEANING OF EQUIPMENT AND SURFACES



  • A. All bins, pails, cans and similar receptacles intended for re-use which have a reasonable likelihood for becoming contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials shall be inspected and decontaminated on a regularly scheduled basis and cleaned and decontaminated immediately or as soon as feasible upon visible contamination.

  • B. Broken glassware which may be contaminated shall not be picked up directly with the hands. It shall be cleaned up using mechanical means.

  • C. Classification I or II employees engaged in cleaning surfaces shall use personal protective equipment that insures there is no contact of potentially contaminated material with skin or personal clothing.

  • D. Clean spills from around the cleaning area immediately if they occur.

  • E. All cleaning materials and single use personal protective equipment shall be disposed of as hazardous waste.

  • F. Wash hands with non-abrasive soap.



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CONTAMINATED LAUNDRY
  • A. Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible with a minimum of agitation. It must be placed in designated containers at the location where it was used without being sorted or rinsed. Wet laundry must be placed and transported from the place of use in containers which prevent leakage or soak through. All containers must be labeled or color-coded red and handled in accordance with Universal Precautions.

  • B. Potentially infectious laundry to be transported off-site for processing must be color-coded and labeled. Employees who have contact with contaminated laundry must wear protective gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment.

  • C. Any clothing of employees which, as the result of an accident in their work area, may have been in contact with blood, other body fluids or tissue of an injured person shall be considered contaminated. Classification I and II employees will assist such employees to ensure that their clothing is treated as contaminated material and is containerized, transported and laundered in an approved facility at no cost to the employee.



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LAUNDRY HANDLING PRACTICES



  • A. In accordance with Universal Precautions and this policy, all used linen is considered contaminated and is to be handled as follows:

    • 1. Soiled linen and other laundry will be containerized without being sorted or rinsed before it is moved from the location in which it has been used.

    • 2. Soiled laundry shall be placed carefully into a properly color-coded or labeled nonabsorbent leak-proof hamper or bag that is free of holes and tears.

    • 3. Any employee handling soiled laundry shall wear protective gloves, and other appropriate personal protective equipment if necessary, that will prevent contact between the soiled material and personal clothing.

    • 4. Do not over fill the bag.

    • 5. If the first bag becomes wet or could reasonably be expected to become wet before arriving at the laundry, or if the integrity of the bag is compromised, it shall be placed in a second, leak-proof bag.

    • 6. When the bag is filled, close it immediately for transport. A container is considered full and ready for closure when all of the soiled laundry in a location of use has been containerized. Filled bags will be left only in a location specifically designated for temporary storage.

    • 7. Transport laundry or linen as soon as possible within a 24-hour time period.

    • 8. Linen is sorted only in the laundry in accordance with Universal Precautions and separately published laundry practices.



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CLEANING OF CONTAMINATED EQUIPMENT
  • A. Employees engaged in cleaning equipment shall use personal protective equipment that will insure that there is no contact of potentially contaminated material with skin or personal clothing.

  • B. Clean large equipment, stationary or portable, with a germicidal detergent avoiding splatter or dripping. If dripping is reasonably anticipated, use a drop cloth under the equipment being cleaned.

  • C. Clean spills from around the equipment immediately.

  • D. All cleaning materials and personal protective equipment shall be disposed of as infectious waste or properly prepared for transport to the laundry as potentially infectious laundry.

  • E. Wash hands after removal of personal protective equipment.



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HANDLING OF POTENTIALLY INFECTIOUS EQUIPMENT
  • A. Potentially contaminated equipment which is to be serviced or relocated shall be examined and decontaminated as necessary by an equipment maintenance specialist under the supervision of a the coordinator of environmental health and safety. If decontamination of such equipment or portions of such equipment is not feasible:

    • 1. A readily observable biohazard label shall be attached to the equipment stating which portions remain contaminated and it shall be cordoned off to prevent tampering until it is made safe or properly removed.

    • 2. Information that the piece of equipment may present a risk of occupational exposure to a bloodborne pathogen must be conveyed to all affected employees, the servicing or moving representatives or manufacturer, prior to handling, servicing or shipping.



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CLEANUP OF BLOOD OR OTHER POTENTIALLY INFECTIOUS BODY FLUIDS
  • A. If blood or other potentially infectious body fluids are encountered in the work place, always observe Universal Precautions first and foremost.

  • B. While fluids such as urine and vomit are not considered infectious by themselves, they ARE considered infectious if observable blood is present. Use Universal Precautions in any case.

  • C. The cleanup procedure for blood and other potentially infectious fluids is as follows:

    • 1. Apply appropriate PPE

    • 2. Use absorbent material to pick up the bulk of the fluid. This can be from a commercial kit or might be regular vomit absorbent.

    • 3. Use a straight edged scrapper to gather the absorbent material for pickup.

    • 4. Use disposable toweling to finish wiping up remaining fluid.

    • 5. Absorbent material and toweling should be disposed of in an appropriate bag. Red, biohazard labeled bags should be used for known infectious fluids. These include blood, other body fluids listed in this program, and body fluids which are not normally infectious but which contain visible blood. Again, these might be urine or vomit. Vomit that does not contain gross amounts of blood can go in a regular bag.

    • 6. Refer to the Waste Disposal section of this manual for proper disposal techniques.

    • 7. The affected area should be washed thoroughly with a solution consisting of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) mixed 10:1 with water. You may also use a quaternary disinfectant which contains chloride. Again, blot with disposable toweling, and discard in the same bag.

    • 8. Follow directions provided in the Section 3 of this manual entitled Specific Use of PPE and removal of PPE.


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