How to Kill Bloodborne Pathogens When Cleaning Up

Blood spills of any size are assumed to have bloodborne pathogens present. People around the blood spill, workers who clean up the spill, and anyone who will occupy or move through the spill location in the future, have to clean up the spill for protection. It is mandated for the workplace by OSHA. A trained biological remediation team will use special materials to ensure to clean up the blood wholly and safely. Read the full blog below on how to kill bloodborne pathogens when cleaning up a spill.

1) Identify The Spill and Secure The Area 

The spill area will be cordoned off to prevent anyone from walking through and contaminating a larger area with blood on the bottom of their shoes. Yellow caution or red biohazard tape works well, but floor signs, buckets, or even straddling the area work if the spill is small.

2) Protect Yourself from Bloodborne Pathogens

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Workers will put on disposable bodysuits. They use the suits to protect themselves from possible contamination during the clean-up. Many suits have hoods and booties to ensure complete coverage. Additionally, face shields protect the face and eyes. Use latex gloves with elasticized sleeve cuffs on the bodysuit and pull them over the tops of the gloves. Workers look overdressed. However, overdressing makes more sense than being vulnerable to infection and chronic personal health problems or death.

3) Clean Up the Area

Workers use special absorbent cloths to remove the blood from the surface. If the spill is on a hard surface, a cloth will remove almost all blood. If the blood is on a porous surface, you can blot the area to absorb as much blood as possible.

4) Disinfect The Location

OSHA requires the spill area to be disinfected. Apply a broad-spectrum disinfectant to the site. The EPA identifies 67 chemicals that will kill bloodborne pathogens. In the absence of a broad-spectrum disinfectant, you can use bleach. You need to mix the bleach at a concentration of no less than nine parts bleach for one part water (9:1). The bleach must remain in the spill area for 25 minutes. Note:  remember, bleach is likely to discolor surfaces.

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 If the spill happens on a porous surface, a brush will be used to agitate the surface before the disinfectant is picked up with an absorbent cloth. If the area is not clear of blood residue afterward, you can repeat the process, or clean the site normally.

5) Dispose Of Cleaning Materials And Disinfect Equipment

Contain the cloth in a red biohazard waste bag immediately after use. Dispose of any other devices, such as a brush or a mop head, in the bag. After the clean-up, workers will remove the face shields and biohazard suits and put them in the bag. If the outside of the bag is contaminated, place it inside another bag.

Lastly, drop the gloves in the bag, and seal the bag for the proper medical waste disposal protocol. You will also need to disinfect any equipment you use for a large spill, such as mop handles and mop buckets.

Medical Waste Pros Can Help You Kill Bloodborne Pathogens

Do you need to clean up a blood spill? Do you need bodysuits, disinfectants, or blood clean-up kits? Your source for services and supplies is Medical Waste Pros. To start, give us a call at (888) 755-6370 or fill out the form. We will be in touch as soon as possible!