Bloodborne pathogen exposure is a major concern in many workplace settings. This is especially the case for first responders, healthcare professionals, and even housekeeping personnel in certain industries. One of the best things to do is to make sure that every worker is properly informed about the dangers of needlestick injuries and bloodborne pathogens. Here are five steps to help prevent needlestick injuries and issues with bloodborne pathogens at work:
- When working with sharp objects—or when you may encounter sharps in the workplace—make sure that your lighting is adequate. Good lighting can help you to avoid accidental needlestick injuries.
- Do not expose the pointed end of needles or sharps until the moment they must be used—and keep the sharp end away from yourself and other workers in the area.
- Be mindful of the people around you. If others are working near you, it may be best to deal with sharp objects in a less crowded area. Doing so will help to avoid untoward incidents or distractions from the job at hand.
- Never pass a needle or a sharp object directly from one person to another. It can be too difficult to make sure that no one touches a pointed end during the exchange. If you need to exchange an item, use a tray or set up a central location to do so.
- After working with any sharp object, make sure that all objects are accounted for and properly disposed at the end of the project. Proper disposal can help to avoid post-project accidents and prevent having needles that wind up in the wrong hands.
Preventing needlestick incidents can help to minimize your exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Be vigilant at all times. Take extra caution especially when you are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Treat all blood (and other bodily fluids) as you would if they were infectious. Always wear proper protective equipment and follow all exposure control procedures at work. Contain all spills immediately and dispose all items that have been contaminated properly.
To enhance your understanding of the associated hazards, take further safety training. Knowing the best practices and regulatory guidelines will help you to identify and address issues at work. OSHAcampus.com offers online training courses to prepare you for the hazards of bloodborne pathogens and other safety concerns at work. Request for a free demo of our training programs today!