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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

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.

Googles/eyewear

Eyewear worn during medical procedures protects the wearer from accidental exposure due to splatters or foreign bodies

Gowns/aprons

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:

Level A

Skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required

Level B

Highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is needed

Level C

Concentrations and types of airborne substances are known and the criteria for using air-purifying respirators are met

Level D

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.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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