An average day on the job can become extremely bloody in a matter of seconds if you’re not careful. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, we’re talking about terrifying, gory situations in the workplace and what you can do to prevent them. The key is having not only the right supplies but training to take care of horrific scenarios in any workplace – in particular when having to clean up blood.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published a standard in 1991 that requires all workplaces to follow certain plans when coming in contact with blood. These are some precautions that you can take in case of a bloody situation at your workplace.
It’s imperative that you and your employees are educated on the topic of injuries and blood. This means knowing the standards and what steps to take should something happen. While taking training classes is useful, having an OSHA answer book in the office can also be useful in case anyone forgets information or wants to refresh their memory before panic sets in. Training is also critical in industries operating in dangerous environments. Using sharp devices, risky instruments or other heavy machinery require skills and extreme caution to avoid serious injury.
When blood has been spilled, using gloves or other protective barriers to clean up the mess is critical. The gloves should be latex or vinyl and be thick enough to avoid any tears or punctures. Be sure to also use paper towels and dispose of both the gloves and paper towels in a separate sealed trash bag.
Wash Bloody Surfaces
If the blood has touched an employee’s hand or skin, be sure to thoroughly wash immediately. The same goes for blood-soiled surfaces. Using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water, wipe down any surface that has come in contact with blood, no matter how much there is.
Wash Bloody Clothes
If any blood has gotten on any of the employee’s articles of clothing, have them remove the items, put them in a sealed plastic bag, and arrange the clothing to be washed in hot, soapy water, away from other clothing items.
Keep a Bloodborne Pathogen Kit on Hand
Having a bloodborne pathogens kit on hand will ensure that you have all the tools needed should an injury occur. These will help prevent any human-based pathogenic microorganisms from spreading. In them, you will find a protective apron, a cleanup scoop and scraper, antimicrobial wipes, gloves, a towel, and more. It's also good to keep supplies such as butterfly bandages and wraps to cover the injury once it is cleaned off.