Blood/body fluids/chemicals are contaminates.

Contaminates are not acceptable in the workplace environment.

Workplace environments must protect all employees from the possibility of contamination from incidents that may involve blood, body fluids or chemical spillages.  How would an employee encounter these contaminates?  Most people think these types of accidents would only happen in an industrial type of environment but they can also happen in the office.

Here are a few possible scenerio's:

Blood: An employee has left a filing cabinet drawer open while filing.  Another employee is walking along reading some materials she just picked up from the copy machine and doesn't see the drawer open.  She trips, falls, and cuts a large gash in her leg.  Blood is gushing out....

Body Fluids: An employee isn't feeling well and begins to throw up in the hallway... 

Never can we not assume that a fellow co-worker is completely free from a virus that might be contagious to others.  A person can have HIV without knowing it.

Chemicals:  The cleaning company left an unknown bottle of strong smelling chemical sitting in the hallway.  An employee accidently kicks it, knocks it over, and it spills out all over the floor...

You can also encounter situations like these in a warehouse or industrial setting.  No matter how small or large the spillage might be, you should always consider it dangerous and puts the employees at risk especially if they are in close proximity to the accident.

It is important to consider all possibilities of an incident occurring within your workplace and to have a procedure in place for cleanup.  Here is a sample Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that you could use as a guideline when writing one that is applicable to your workplace:

Blood/Body Fluids/Chemical Spillage Policy

In the event of an incident involving blood, body fluids, or chemical spillage anywhere in the warehouse, the immediate area must be secured so that the contaminate is not transferred to other areas of the facility.  It is recommended that at an area of least ten feet from the possible contamination be secured. 

  • The person discovering the contaminate must stop their work (shut down necessary equipment) and notify the manager immediately.
  • The manager will appoint a crew to manage and proceed with cleaning.
  •  All personnel will examine their clothing for any contamination.  If they are contaminated they will need to be allowed time off to change. 
  • Any product contaminated or potentially affected product within 20 feet will be tagged as rejected product, bagged and disposed of immediately.  Disposal will be in the large dumpster behind the warehouse. 
  •  The area will be cleaned from the top going down with proper cleaning equipment and a detergent solution.  The area will then be rinsed with clean water and then sanitized with Clorox at 1/4 cup per gallon of water. 
  •  The manager will inspect the area for cleanliness before proceeding with production. 
  •  A report will be made on a NUOCA (Notice of Unusual Occurance and Corrective Action) log and turned into the office immediately.  Corrective actions must be implemented and it is recommended that this incident be reviewed with the employee's at the next safety training meeting.  Preventative actions will be discussed and implemented to prevent future incidents.

Warehouse managers must be vigilant to make sure that all employees are in compliance with these rules.