This is the term given to describe precautions taken by staff to
limit the risk of spread of infectious diseases.
Although blood borne viruses can be transmitted in different
ways, all blood and suspect fluids should be regarded as infectious
and treated accordingly.
Staff should always use universal precautions when in
contact with suspected body fluids or during routine
- Cover any sores, cuts, bitten nails, warts etc with waterproof
dressings and/or gloves
- Take precautions to prevent puncture wounds, cuts and
Wear stout protective gloves and, where appropriate, use
tongs or other tools when handling:
• Sharp objects (needles, syringes, knives)
• Suspected drug paraphernalia
• Blood and body fluids directly or items soiled by such
• Other objects or fluids of unknown origin
- Handle all sharp objects with extreme care, and never bend or
break a sharp object
- Dispose of discarded needles and syringes (‘sharps’) in
designated sharps containers provided by licensed clinical waste
operators. Never dispose of sharps with general waste
- Clear up spillages of blood and other body fluids promptly and
- Protect the eyes and mouth using a visor, goggles or safety
spectacles and a mask whenever splashing is a possibility.
When carrying out cleaning
- Always wear stout protective gloves and wash your hands after
- Consider ventilation as some cleaning products and spillage can
react to produce harmful fumes. Wear a protective mask where
- Clean all hard surfaces with appropriate product or
- Clean mops and buckets after use.