Sat. Aug 8th, 2020

HSSE WORLD

Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Tool Box Talk: Biohazard Safety

2 min read

Biohazards are materials or human waste that cause infections or diseases. If you work in areas with wastewater, medical waste, or live sewer lines, for example, you should assume that all surfaces are contaminated.

Alberto’s Story

Alberto was repairing a sewer line. He was not wearing waterproof gloves and some of the sewage got on his hands. A few days later, he noticed a cut on his hand that was red and sore. He went to the doctor and learned that he had a serious infection probably caused by raw sewage.

  •  What should Alberto have done to protect himself from the contaminants?
  • Have you experienced an incident with raw sewage or potentially infectious material? If so, what happened?

Remember this:

  • Avoid direct contact with sewage.
  • Wash your hands well to prevent spreading contaminants.
  •  Clean, treat, and report any cuts or wounds right away. They could be infected.
  • Use liquid-proof gloves, boots, and face protection when you will have direct contact with sewage. Use a face shield if there might be splashing.
  •  Keep contaminated gloves, boots, face protection, and other equipment away from areas where food is eaten or stored.
  •  For pipeline and other inspections, use remote-controlled robotic cameras to minimize human exposure.
  • Remove contaminated clothing at the site, if possible. A full decontamination process at the site may be necessary.
  • Wash clothing at a high temperature (at least 160ºF) to destroy all germs.

 Avoid direct contact with sewage. Use liquid-proof gloves, boots, and face protection if you will have direct contact with raw sewage. Use a face shield if you might get splashed.

 Wash your hands well to prevent spreading contaminants. Clean, treat and report any cuts or wounds immediately because they could be infected.

 Keep contaminated gloves, boots, face protection, and other equipment away from areas where food is eaten or stored.

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