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Bloodborne Pathogens: After an Accident

Whether or not housekeeping is a regular part of your job, at some time you might be involved in cleaning up after an accident. Proper cleaning of the accident site keeps blood or body fluids away from yourself and others.

Step 1. Clean it safely

  • Wear protective gloves. Also wear eye and face protection if splashes could take place.

  • To destroy dangerous germs, use disposable towels soaked in an approved disinfectant.

  • Dispose of the towels in properly labeled biohazard bags or containers.

Step 2. Remove your personal protective equipment (PPE) carefully

  • Take off clothing by carefully peeling it away from your body.

  • Put the clothing in a biohazard bag for proper disposal or cleaning.

  • Remove your gloves by following the steps on this sheet.

  • Dispose of your gloves in a biohazard bag. Don't throw them in the regular garbage.

  • Always wash your hands well after removing PPE.

First step in removing gloves safely.
Peel one glove off from top to bottom. Hold the removed glove in your gloved hand.

Second step in removing gloves safely.
Using two fingers, peel the other glove off from the wrist.

Third step in removing gloves safely.
Continue peeling the glove so it turns inside-out with the other glove inside it. Be careful not to touch the outside of the glove to your exposed skin. Dispose of your gloves properly.

Step 3. Wash thoroughly

  • Wash your hands, wrists, and forearms right away after helping or cleaning up. Wash well with soap and clean, running water. Work up a good lather. Get between your fingers and around and under your nails. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse well and dry your hands.

  • If blood or body fluids have splashed in your eyes, wash them out thoroughly at an eyewash station. You'll need to follow your employer's plan for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. 

  • If blood or body fluids have splashed or gotten on your hair or clothes, wash your whole body.

Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
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