Three Elements of Infection – Organism (bug), Host (us) and Mode of Transmission (way to get them together)
- Washing hands is the most important tool we can use to stop the spread of infection. By washing our hands before any hand to mouth/nose or eye contact and also before eating, drinking, smoking or applying cosmetics we can reduce our chances of getting sick.
- Eat, drink or store food in areas away from laboratory areas.
- Use a hands free technique to recap needles if recapping them is a part of the procedure.
- Standard/Universal Precautions – Treat all Blood and Body fluid as infectious.
- Cover your cough and sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, throw away the tissue, then use a hand sanitizer or wash your hands. Wear a mask to prevent others from getting sick.
- Gloves are to be removed in the work area before leaving the lab and/or touching door handles, switch buttons etc. This prevents contaminating surfaces with chemicals or biologicals and exposing others. This may necessitate the removal of one glove to open doors, flip switches or answer phones while the gloved hand is used to carry potentially contaminated equipment or product.
- Alcohol hand sanitizers will only help if hands are not visibly soiled.
Exposure Guidance - Employee Health has someone on-call for post exposure medical guidance on biological exposures that occur on campus including needle sticks, biological, animal, etc. Call the OUCH pager 402-888-OUCH (402-888-6824).
- is waste that causes infectious disease in humans
- is blood and body fluids in pourable or drippable amounts
- includes sharps (needles, blades, broken glass, etc.). Pipettes and pipette tips are discarded as bio-hazardous waste
- must be placed in proper containers
Personal Protective Equipment
Protect yourself from Hepatitis, HIV and other pathogens – wear a mask and eye protection to protection your eyes and mucous membranes from splashes and sprays during procedures. Per the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard – “use of personal protective equipment is required where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure to blood or body fluids.”