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What are the risks of cleaning up blood?

Cleaning blood can be a very risky job so it is important you understand the dangers involved and how you can protect yourself and others from contamination. This blog will provide an insight into the risks involved with cleaning blood and some safety measures for you to consider.

What are the risks with cleaning up blood?

Cleaning up blood is an important task, but it also comes with significant risks. Blood is a biohazardous material that can contain pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other harmful viruses and bacteria. Exposure to blood can result in serious health complications, including infections, illnesses, and even death. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the risks involved in cleaning up blood and take appropriate safety measures to protect yourself.

One of the biggest risks of cleaning up blood is the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can be transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. Exposure can occur through contact with broken skin, mucous membranes, or through inhalation of aerosolized blood particles. Common bloodborne pathogens include HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.

Another risk of cleaning up blood is exposure to hazardous chemicals. Cleaning products such as bleach and ammonia are commonly used to disinfect surfaces after a blood spill. However, improper use of these chemicals can lead to health problems. For example, exposure to bleach can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and eye damage. Ammonia can cause respiratory irritation and damage to the eyes, nose, and throat.

Physical injuries are another risk associated with cleaning up blood. Broken glass, sharp metal objects, and other hazards can be present in a blood spill. If not properly handled, these objects can cause cuts and puncture wounds, which can lead to infections and other health problems.

Furthermore, the emotional toll of cleaning up blood cannot be ignored. Blood spills often occur in traumatic situations, such as crime scenes or accidents, and can be a source of significant stress and anxiety. Cleaning up after a traumatic event can trigger emotional responses, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How can you minimise the risks?

To minimize the risks associated with cleaning up blood, it is important to take appropriate safety measures. The following are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other hazards:

  1. Wear protective gear: Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and respirators should be worn when cleaning up blood. PPE is designed to protect against exposure to bloodborne pathogens and hazardous chemicals.
  2. Use proper cleaning products: Use only cleaning products that are approved for use in blood spill cleanup. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and dilution ratios.
  3. Clean up spills promptly: Blood spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible to minimize the risk of exposure. Spills should be cleaned up using appropriate disinfectants and cleaning techniques.
  4. Dispose of waste properly: Blood-soaked materials, such as towels and clothing, should be disposed of in biohazard bags. These bags should be properly labelled and disposed of according to local regulations. You will require a waste carrier licence to transport the biohazard correctly. Not disposing of biohazards correctly can result in hefty fines and consequences.
  5. Seek professional help: Cleaning up after a traumatic event can be emotionally difficult. Consider seeking professional help to deal with the emotional aftermath.

In conclusion, cleaning up blood is a risky task that requires proper safety measures. Exposure to bloodborne pathogens, hazardous chemicals, physical injuries, and emotional stress are all potential risks associated with blood clean up. By taking appropriate safety measures, such as wearing protective gear, using proper cleaning products, cleaning up spills promptly, disposing of waste properly, and seeking professional help, the risks associated with cleaning up blood can be minimized.

Our best advice is to hire a professional biohazard company like Aftercare Specialist Cleaning. By hiring a professional, you have the peace of mind knowing you have a licenced specialist who can deal with the blood in a safe and compliant manner. Head to the contact page to get a free quotation or to find out more information.