There are four routes of entry into our body.
Inhalation (breathing)–this is the most common way–non infected person carying organisms from an infected person who cough and sneeze then it emits into the air.
Skin Contact–Direct personal contact between individuals one of whom is infected.
Digestive system (ingestion or eating)–food or drink that has been contaminated by fecal matter or urine, usually on the unwashed hands of food handlers.
Injection (into the bloodstream or tissues) of an uninfected person by the bite of animals, insects or ticks.
There are various diseases that can transfer throughout any facility if proper infection control measures are not taken. These include, specific cleaning measures, using proper PPE when handling bloodborne pathogens and most importantly handwashing.
Handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.
- Hands of workers are the most common intermediate “objects” that carry germs from one place to another.
- After washing the hands, staff should leave the water running while they dry their hands, and then turn off the taps with the paper towel.
Staff should wash their hands:
- Upon arrival at work
- After visiting the washroom.
- After blowing or wiping the nose.
- After handling dirty objects and before going on to handle clean supplies.
- After removing gloves. (Please note that wearing rubber gloves does not mean that staff does not have to wash their hands after removing gloves. Gloves frequently have pinholes that allow hands to be contaminated and the act of removing the gloves often contaminates the hands. )
- Before going home.
Follow these steps for some common sense strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in your school buildings and grounds:
- The problem or pest is identified before taking action.
- Cracks and crevices in walls, floors and pavement are either sealed or eliminated.
- Lockers and desks are emptied and thoroughly cleaned at least twice a year.
- Food-contaminated dishes, utensils, surfaces are cleaned by the end of each day.
- Garbage cans and dumpsters are cleaned regularly.
- Litter is collected and disposed of properly at least once a week.
Bloodborne pathogens are viruses and bacteria found in human blood or body fluids. Bloodborne pathogens can cause diseases, most notably HIV and the Hepatitis B virus.
The first rule in handling human blood and body fluids is to always handle it as if it is infectious. Even if you believe the fluid is disease-free, treating it as hazardous provides you with protection that you may be very thankful for later. Handling blood and body fluids is not an area you want to approach casually.
The second rule. Use PPE. All workers who work with or who may come in contact with Bloodborne pathogens shall utilize appropriate precautions and safeguards, so as not to endanger their personal health and safety or that of another. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is extremely important in preventing contact with blood.
Each site is to have a supply of rubber or plastic gloves. These gloves must be worn when cleaning human bodily fluids or attending to injuries involving bodily fluids.
The third rule. Protect yourself first. When administering first aid, protect yourself first before treating the victim. This may be hard when a co-worker, or student is hurt, but you are putting yourself at extreme risk when you don’t use protective equipment. Before you treat a wound or begin cleaning blood off the floor, put on the proper PPE for the situation to prevent contamination.
The forth rule. Clean up the mess right away. Using protective measures when cleaning up blood and body fluids after an injury is just as important as using PPE and caution while treating the injury itself. When cleaning up broken glass that has been exposed to blood or body fluids, never use your hands, even if you are wearing gloves. Get rid of contaminated broken glass with tongs, or a brush and dust pan.
The last rule. Use safe disposal practices. Get rid of materials that have come in contact with blood and body fluids safely. Handle all trash as if it contains sharps or infectious items. Place all potentially infectious materials and contaminated items in labeled, sealable containers. Make sure containers are marked with a biohazard label or color coded (usually red).