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How can I remain safe while working around biohazards?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. For instance, those working within a medical clinic or hospital may come in contact with biohazards in the forms of blood or other bodily fluids. These biohazards can carry serious diseases, which may be transferred to workers if the right steps aren’t taken to protect them. explains the steps workers can take to protect themselves, as well as the obligations of employers when it comes to keeping employees safe and secure. 

When working in direct contact with known biohazards, protective gear is of the utmost importance. This includes suits to cover your clothing, face masks, respirators, goggles, gloves, and protective coverings for shoes. This gear prevents you from making direct contact with bodily fluids or other hazards, which can pose issues if they make contact with your skin. Even if a situation doesn’t seem hazardous, it’s better to be overcautious. 

When you’re finished with your work, all contaminated items should be disposed of correctly. You should be provided with a set of instructions for removing soiled items, as well as have access to receptacles for safekeeping of contaminated gear. Receptacles must also be clearly labeled so workers can steer clear of contaminated materials. When you’re finished handling items, be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove any lingering contaminants. 

Your employer is also responsible for ensuring a safe and secure workplace. For instance, employers must provide the right protective gear and ensure all workers are trained in how to use it correctly. You should also receive updates on training on an annual basis to ensure new techniques and procedures are used. You should be privy to an exposure control plan, which establishes protocols for what should occur if a worker is exposed to hazardous substances. Finally, many employers are obligated to pay for hepatitis B vaccinations and must ensure workers receive them as needed.