Dealing with Hazardous Materials -
It is essential, that you firstly conduct an assessment of the risks associated with each particular type of incident, in this case, Dealing With Bodily Fluid Spills. (Details of how to do this are provided in the Jangro Guide to Health and Safety).
Once an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out, you can set about adopting the correct procedures for dealing with the disposal of the hazardous waste in question. The way in which I have approached this subject is by producing the following case study, which outlines a common problem and then take you through the process of dealing with it.
Terry works as a cleaner in a youth hostel and his duties include cleaning the accommodation areas within the complex. One morning, when cleaning
one of the accommodation rooms, he notices a pool of vomit, which has soaked into the carpet.
What Should He Do?
This is a regular occurrence within the hostel and Terry has been trained to deal with it. Again, let's study the correct approach. Firstly, Terry makes a check of the immediate area
to see if the person has been sick in other parts of the room. They haven't so he sets about his job.
Firstly, he places a warning sign on the door to the affected room restricting access to it. He then goes to the cleaning cupboard for the necessary supplies.
For this task he will need the following:
- A Body Fluid Spillage Kit consisting of:
- Absorbent deodorising granules
- Anti-septic spray
- Clean white, non-woven cleaning cloths
- Cardboard scoop and spatula
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable apron
- Biohazard waste bag
This is the procedure he follows:
1. Before entering the work area, he puts on the disposable apron and gloves, he always wears long trousers.
2. He places warning signs at the extremes of the work area to warn people of his presence.
3. He then places all of his equipment within easy reach, taking care that none of it comes into contact with the stain to be cleaned.
4. Standing over the stain, he takes the absorbent granule container and sprinkles it liberally over the stain, making sure it is completely covered.
5. After giving the granules time to absorb the majority of the liquid, Terry checks that it has been drawn from the carpets and is beginning to take a more solid form.
6. Once he is satisfied, he takes the cardboard spatula and agitates the stain. Using the cardboard spatula and working from the outside of the stain in, he scrapes the residue into the scoop and places it into the waste bag. He also places the scoop and spatula inthe bag for disposal.
7. After taking as much of the stain up as possible, he takes up the rest of the powder using the dry cleaning cloth and disposes of it in the waste bag.
8. Once the majority of the stain has been removed, he sprays the area liberally with the anti-septic solution and allows a couple of minutes for it to act.
9. Taking another clean cloth he dries the area and disposes of it in the waste bag.
10. Before finishing he places his apron and gloves in the waste bag.
11. He then wipes his hands thoroughly with the ant-septic wipe and places it the waste bag.
12. He seals the waste bag and places it in the designated area ready for collection.
13. He reopens the room and returns all equipment, including the warning sign to the storage area.
These procedures are relatively straight forward and take all of the necessary steps to ensure that both the operative and anyone else using the area are adequately protected. It is also worth noting that this procedure is sufficient in dealing with all major body-fluid spills.
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