All Points Medical Waste Blog
Personal Protection Equipment
Priorities for your workers
As the operator of a medical facility, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of everyone who visits—and everyone who works for you. While patients and others who may come and go on a daily basis are at risk for exposure to infectious materials, your staff faces an even greater risk. Each day they are exposed to numerous situations that could put them in danger, including coming in contact with blood, bodily fluids, respiratory secretions and more.
In addition to your safety protocols for handling medical waste, it’s crucial that each member of your staff be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Take a look:
What is PPE
Personal Protective Equipment encompasses a variety of items that are worn to protect the wearer against injury and the spread of infection or illness. These items include gloves, masks, goggles, gowns and aprons, face shields, face masks or respiratory masks. Take a look:
Gloves act as a barrier against infection and are a single-use item that must be discarded after each use. Even if the gloves appear clean, they must only be used once. Although they don’t protect against pricks or sticks from sharps, they do protect the wearer against contamination from contact with infectious waste or pathogens.
Eyewear worn during medical procedures protects the wearer from accidental exposure due to splatters or foreign bodies
Gowns and aprons protect staff from contaminants from patients, materials or equipment that can lead to exposure to the skin, uniforms or other clothing
PPE levels of protection
OSHA standards dictate certain levels of protection required for specific risks including:
Skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required
Highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is needed
Concentrations and types of airborne substances are known and the criteria for using air-purifying respirators are met
Work uniform affording minimal protection, used for nuisance contamination only
For staff members, PPE provides maximum protection against harmful bacteria, germs and dangerous pathogens that can spread from one person to the next. They also mitigate the risks associated with many of the tasks that workers have to perform, including medical procedures, cleaning up treatment rooms and handling chemicals and medical waste.
To ensure that you are adhering to OSHA standards and state regulations, it is necessary to supply your staff with the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times and that all items are disposed of properly. This should be a part of your medical waste disposal process and all members of your team should undergo training to remain compliant.
All Points Medical Waste is a full-service medical waste disposal provider—talk to us about all of your medical waste needs. Visit our blog to learn more about medical waste and a variety of related topics.