Officer & Drivers Safety (Lesson 10 of 25)
Hand washing is one of the most important (and easiest) practices used to prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens. Hands or other exposed skin should be thoroughly washed as soon as possible following an exposure incident. Use soft, antibacterial soap, if possible. Avoid harsh, abrasive soaps, as these may open fragile scabs or other sores.
Hands should also be washed immediately (or as soon as feasible) after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment.
Because hand washing is so important, you should familiarize yourself with the location of the hand washing facilities nearest to you. Laboratory sinks, public restrooms, janitor closets, and so forth may be used for hand washing if they are normally supplied with soap. If you are working in an area without access to such facilities, you may use an antiseptic cleanser in conjunction with clean cloth/paper towels or antiseptic towelettes. If these alternative methods are used, hands should be washed with soap and running water as soon as possible.
If you are working in an area where there is reasonable likelihood of exposure, you should never:
- Apply cosmetics or lip balm
- Handle contact lenses
No food or drink should be kept in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets, or on counter tops where blood or potentially infectious materials are present.
You should also try to minimize the amount of splashing, spraying, splattering, and generation of droplets when performing any procedures involving blood or potentially infectious materials, and you should NEVER pipette or suction these materials by mouth.