There is always a residual risk if you are exposed to a blood spillage arising from an accident, or to other body fluids, or from exposure to contaminated syringes
The risks from body fluids include Hepatitis B and HIV. For your own protection, you must not clean-up body fluids unless you have been properly trained to do so.
If you have to clean-up body fluids, the following sensible precautions will help to protect you against infection.
- Always wear a disposable apron and use disposable plastic gloves whenever blood, semen or other body fluids require cleaning-up. Use paper towels, disposable cloths or absorbent granules, such as cat litter, to absorb the spillage, and then place them in a plastic bag and dispose of them safely.
- Disinfect the area in which any spills have occurred with a suitable disinfectant diluted with the correct amount of water (use 1 part of bleach to 10 parts of water if there is no proprietary disinfectant available). Be careful, as some disinfectants are corrosive and can be harmful to the skin, so check the label or the COSHH Assessment sheet before you use it.
- If your skin come into direct contact with another person’s blood or other body fluids, wash the area with ordinary soap and water as quickly as possible. If the contamination involves the lips, mouth, tongue, eyes or broken skin, then rinse it with clean cold water and seek medical advice.
Contaminated clothing may be cleaned in an ordinary washing machine using its hot cycle.