14 Sep Handling Hazardous Waste
Cleaning in the workplace plays an incredibly important role in controlling and preventing the spread of an infection – Cleaning is the front line in the war on infection. As we have seen over the last couple of years, infections in organisations can be very debilitating to the health and well-being of staff and a serious concern to the running of the organisation. While COVID-19 was very much in the public consciousness many other infections, like norovirus from contaminated food, are still a present threat. All it takes is for one member of staff to come into work with a bad stomach – you can guarantee that they haven’t washed their hands well!
Infections in key workplaces like care or residential homes, catering and food production and clinical environments are a major problem to the health and well-being of vulnerable people, even to the degree of being fatal in some cases.
As we have seen in the case of COVID the primary transmission route is via aerosolised droplets, which has proven to be near impossible to stop. However, for the large majority of infections that are spread by hands and bodily fluids, cleaning and disinfection processes are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of infection spreading.
Vomiting and diarrhoea are defence mechanisms the body uses to remove (quickly in most cases) anything ingested that the body doesn’t like. The cause may or may not be due to an infection, it could be because of an allergy, but there is no certain way to tell – Always assume bodily wastes are hazardous. In some cases, bodily fluids may become blood contaminated, which could pose a risk of spreading blood-borne viruses like HIV or hepatitis. As the body ejects the contents the underlying microorganism travels with it, contaminating any surface it contacts.
It is, therefore, vital that all cleaning staff understand the nature of pathogenic microorganisms, how an infection spreads from person to person via contact surfaces, and how to quickly respond to urgent incidents involving (potentially infectious) hazardous waste.
In this article we are offering you a selection of Cleaning Instruction Cards covering the handling and cleaning of hazardous waste from our main library of Cleaning Instruction Cards.