Reducing Your Risk

Standard Precautions

Treat all body fluids from every person as potentially infectious.

Follow the recommendations in the employer’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan.

An employer’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan should include:

  • Various levels of risk of employees that may have occupational exposure
  • Training requirements
  • Work practice controls
  • Engineering controls
  • Procedure for an exposure incident


Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE should be provided by your employer. It includes gloves, CPR shields, masks, gowns, and eye protection.

Know where PPE is at your workplace.

Know what PPE is available and how to use it.

Make sure first-aid kits and emergency supplies include disposable gloves and CPR face shields or rescue masks.

Do not eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or handle contact lenses in areas where there is the possibility of exposure to BBP.

When emptying trash containers, do not use your hands to compress the trash in the bag. 

Lift and carry the trash bag away from your body.

Follow your facility’s procedures for handling laundry General Laundry procedures:

  • Wear PPE
  • Keep contaminated laundry separate from other laundry
  • Bag potentially contaminated laundry where it is used
  • Use leak-proof bags for wet laundry
  • Transport in properly labeled bags

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act requires appropriate, commercially available, and effective safer medical devices designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure.

Needles and other sharps must be discarded in rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistance containers.

Do not bend, shear, break or recap needles. If you must recap, use one-handed method.

Hazardous Disposal

  • Liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM)
  • Contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed
  • Dispose of in a properly labeled biohazard container: either a red bag or container labeled in orange or orange-red with the Bio-Hazard symbol.
  • Properly labeled and bundled waste needs to be handled according to your facility’s disposal procedures.

Cleanup Procedures

  • Use a solution of 1 part household bleach mixed with 9 parts water (a 1:10 solution).
  • Other commercial disinfectants registered with the EPA as effective against HIV/HBV may be used. Check the label.
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment.
  • If a Body Fluid Spill Kit is available, use according to manufacture’s directions
  • First, put on Personal Protective Equipment
  • Remove visible material with absorbent towels
  • If any sharp object or broken glass is visible, remove with tongs or dust pan and place in a ridged sealable container. Never use bare hands.
  • Spray disinfectant on contaminated area and let stand for several minutes
  • Once the area has been disinfected, dry area with absorbent towels and dispose of towels in regular trash

Glove Removal

  • Grip one glove near the cuff and peel it down until it comes off inside out. Cup it in the palm of your gloved hand.
  • Place two fingers of your bare hand inside the cuff of the remaining glove.
  • Peel that glove down so that it also comes off inside out and over the first glove.
  • Properly dispose of the gloves.
  • Remember, only touch glove to glove and skin to skin.

Wash Your Hands

  • Wet your hands and apply liquid, bar, or powder soap.
  • Rub hands together vigorously to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue for 20-30 seconds! It takes that long for the soap and scrubbing action to dislodge and remove stubborn germs. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” all the way through– twice!
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer.
  • If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet