Tips to Avoid Hotel Blood borne Pathogens
Hotel workers meet various risks within the workplace. Beyond security and ethics are health issues. All of these factors affect workers and how they run their everyday operations.
Hotel blood borne pathogens are a primary concern when it comes to occupational wellness. It is estimated that blood borne pathogens are the second leading health risk in the hospitality sector after airborne pathogens.

Understanding Blood borne Pathogens
Blood borne ailments are diseases that spread when a person comes into contact with infected blood or other body fluids. Such pathogens are mostly viruses such as the hepatitis complexes. Hotel staff are exposed to blood borne pathogens when they encounter infected blood and body fluids while on duty.
Hotel welfare associations are raising the alarm over the rise of such infections among hotel staff. Modern hotels have control and action plans to help prevent and reduce worker exposure to blood pathogens.
Tips & Strategies to Avoid Exposure in the Hospitality Sector
It is possible to reduce the spread of blood borne ailments by implementing well-thought-out exposure control and protective measures.
The use of personal protective equipment protects a person from exposure to pathogens. Personal protective equipment include gloves, absorbent pads, shoe cover, gown, hair mate, safety mask, and face shield.
Here are the precautions that can help in protecting hotel staff as they work:

  • Always use personal protective equipment such as gloves, shoe cover, safety mask, and the breathing barrier.
  • Always clean and disinfect all potentially contaminated work surfaces and equipment after use.
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes, or mouth while cleaning or any other sensitive work before thoroughly washing your hands with detergent and clean water.

Lastly, double-check waste bins for potentially infectious needles.

Dispose of Sharps & Wastes Properly to Reduce Exposure
Hotels should provide a proper mechanism for the disposal of sharps. Sharps include needles, scalpels, knives, and any other material that may cut or puncture a person’s skin. Here is a general guide on how to handle sharps within a hotel setting.

  • Always handle sharps with care to reduce the risk of getting hotel bloodborne pathogens. If possible, avoid direct contact with the sharp object.
  • Always dispose of sharps properly in the designated areas such as a sharps container. Poorly disposed sharps can lead to infection. A hotel may even set up an incinerator to dispose of sharps
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes, or mouth while handling sharps or after touching sharps. Ensure you thoroughly wash your hands with detergent and clean water and use a hand sanitizer if possible.

Disposal of waste from surface cleanup should be according to the guidelines by the CDC and the U.S Department of Transportation and hazardous material regulation. Hotels should have clearly defined action plans for the disposal of waste and hazardous materials.

It is also necessary to soak material used and all the personal protective equipment with detergents or a disinfectant to avoid the risk of workers’ exposure to pathogens. Always place Sharp objects in a puncture-proof container for subsequent disposal.

OSHA’s Disposal Guideline
The OSHA has set the applicable standard on how to handle blood:
1. OSHA’s tool kit provides the necessary personal protective equipment. It provides guidelines on how to use them and other requirements.
2. An employer must be in line with OSHA’s hazard communication standard if their workers have to use certain chemicals for cleaning and decontamination.
3. All employers must comply with OSHA’s blood borne pathogens standard. It helps workers who accidentally or by other means get exposed to blood or other infectious materials.
That said, let’s learn how to deal with different types of bloodstains.
Cleaning & Sanitizing Bloodstains in a Hotel Setting
Accidents always happen when you least expect them. Most accidents lead to cuts, bruises, and injuries that lead to blood spills. Blood may fall on any surface or material within the hotel, and it requires cleaning.
But cleaning blood can be a difficult task. Besides the health risks discussed above, it is a thick liquid that’s difficult to clean. Blood contains clotting components that activate when exposed to changes in pressure and ambient air, making it stick together and onto other things.
One must take their time to clean it out entirely because failure to do so may leave stains and pathogens. Such a situation exposes both the staff and clients to hotel blood borne pathogens.

4 Important Considerations
Before cleaning up blood, all cleaners should remember 4 critical things.

  • The universal rule of blood. One should always assume that blood is infected because you cannot tell whether it isn’t just by looking at it.
  • You must have the right cleanup materials and know how to use them properly.
  • Wearing protective gear and equipment is a must. It is best to keep yourself safe from any would-be infections.
  • And remember, cleaning is not the same as sanitizing, so make sure you understand what you are after.

Now let’s look at the different types of blood spills in a hotel setting and how to clean them.

Dealing with Different Types of Blood Spills
Hotels should formulate and implement robust blood cleanup protocols depending on the situation. Here is a comprehensive guide on several blood cleanup guidelines depending on the location of the blood spill.
1. Blood Stain on a bare floor
The floor is the most common setting for blood spills. Some of these surfaces include metal, wood, tiles, and any other non-absorbent flooring. It is easier to clean the blood on this surface, but you need to follow some essential steps.
You should clean up Spills on the floor quickly since they easily spread over a large area. The following are some of the steps one should take while cleaning up blood on hard surfaces.

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Lock the contaminated area during cleaning. Do not allow other hotel staff or visitors to use the area.
  • Use absorbent material to clean the place thoroughly.
  • Pour bleach solution on all contaminated areas.
  • Let the bleach solution stay in the contaminated areas for around 20 minutes before cleaning.
  • Disinfect all the cleaning material with a bleach solution and then air them out to dry.

After cleaning, wash hands with plenty of water and soap.

2. Cleaning a blood stain from a carpeted Floor
Carpeted floors usually are absorbent and tend to soak up any blood spills. Hence it is difficult to clean up blood spills on such floors. It is difficult to disinfect carpets completely, so the best option is to sanitize them as thoroughly as possible.
Cleaning blood on carpeted areas is the same as cleaning other areas, but there are some additional concerns:

  • One should work quickly since blood or other body fluids harden faster on carpeting
  • Use the manufacturer-approved carpet shampoo and cleaners. The shampoo and cleaners contain antimicrobial properties which help to sanitize the area thoroughly. This procedure should reoccur several times to make sure that bloodstains do not remain due to the porous nature of the carpet.
  • Steam clean the carpet. Such shampoos also assist in cleaning and sanitizing the carpet better.
  • If an area becomes heavily soiled with blood, carpet tiles can be removed and replaced with others to protect exposure to bloodborne pathogens to staff and clients.

Here’s the procedure to clean up blood on a carpeted area.

  • Always start by putting on disposable gloves. No work should occur without PPE—it puts you in danger of being infected with hotel bloodborne pathogens.
  • Protect the affected area by surrounding the area with absorbent material. In essence, this helps in avoiding the spread of blood to neighbouring areas.
  • Spray the affected area with carpet detergent to kill the surviving pathogens. Allow the disinfectant to work for about ten minutes.
  • Use a wet vacuum to remove the absorbent fluids from the carpet. Repeat the process several times (2-4)but remember to prevent the fluids from spreading beyond the initial area
  • Saturate the carpet with an appropriate disinfectant. Allow it to stay like ten minutes to allow the disinfectant to work. Repeat the procedure several times (2-4).
  • Dry the area thoroughly with a rag to remove all the moisture then place a fan near the area to make sure the area ists completely dry.
  • Properly dispose of the rags and other disposable material.

Finally, clean and disinfect all equipment used during the spill cleanup.

3. Outdoor Blood Spill
Outdoor blood spills are more difficult to clean. The best way is to relocate the outdoor activity that caused the exposure and then block the affected area.

Hotel Blood borne Pathogens

The area should be disinfected with the right detergent and then thoroughly cleaned up with water. It is always essential to prevent the blood in the affected area from spreading.

Always wear protective gear and dispose-off the disposable materials correctly after cleanup.
4. Spill on Furniture
Blood spill on furniture is difficult to clean. It is essential to clean blood spills as fast as possible so that the blood doesn’t harden on the furniture.
Cloth furniture needs more treatment than wood or metal furniture. The best way to deal with a cloth furniture spill is to remove the cloth covering on the furniture. If the cloth is not removable, the only option is to disinfect the affected area and leave it for minutes for the disinfectant to work, then repeat the procedure several times(2-4).
Blood spills on wood and metal furniture are not as challenging to clean. Hotel Blood-borne pathogens are still a threat even on the wooden and metal furniture; therefore, you need extra care when conducting the cleaning. Metals, wood, and other non-porous furniture should be cleaned just like blood spills on non-carpeted surfaces.
5. Spills on Pools
Correctly maintained pools contain enough chlorine to kill the pathogens. When blood spills occur in the pool, no significant action is required. Hotel staff only need to take care of the injured person and prevent the blood spill from spreading.
Call a Blood Cleaning Service
Cleaning blood doesn’t always have to be painful and tiresome. Hotel managers do not need to expose their staff to potentially infectious blood spills.
Hotels can simply call a blood cleaning service to deal with cleaning and sanitizing the area. Identifying a nearby service can help you learn costs and prepare for any unanticipated scenarios. Blood cleaning services are your best option if you have untrained hotel staff who cannot effectively deal with blood spills.
Hotel Bloodborne Pathogens: 3 Infections Workers May Encounter
Hotel bloodborne pathogens that arise in most cases are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Here is an overview of these ailments that may spread as a result of coming in contact with infected blood.
1. Hepatitis B
This chronic disease is a very deadly and life-threatening infection that affects the liver. It is a viral disease, meaning a virus causes the disease
Chronic infections cause effects on the liver, and severe cases may threaten an individual’s life. The cause of death can be cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Hepatitis B Transmission
One of the most common and popular ways HBV to spread is through mother-child transmission during birth. This infection can also be transmitted or spread in many other ways.
Such ways include tattooing, needle stick injury, or even exposure to infected body fluids. Such fluids are saliva, vaginal, seminal, or even menstrual fluids.
Many infection transmissions occur through sexual contact. Studies show that chronic hepatitis that occurs in adulthood is less than 5%—and 95% of the cases happen during infancy or early stages of childhood.
The reuse of needles among drug addicts who share needles is also another cause of infection. Also, hepatitis infections can spread during dental and surgical procedures, tattooing, and the use of sharp objects that can be tainted with infectious blood.
This type of infection can even survive out of the body for about seven days. At this time, the infections are still capable of happening to a person who comes into contact with it. Therefore there is a need for people to undergo vaccination to prevent Hep B infections.
Identification of Hep B can happen after thirty days to sixty days from the time of infection. Those are the best days for detection since this virus incubates for around seventy days or vary between thirty to a hundred and eighty days. If the infections are not detected early enough, they lead to chronic hepatitis B.
HBV Symptoms
Symptoms don’t start showing off immediately after someone is infected. After a period of incubation, several symptoms start showing up. It is critical to note that infections vary from one individual to the next.
Some people start experiencing several symptoms, which include eyes turning yellow, fatigue, and urine that turns dark, among others. Others experience acute failure of the liver, and in most cases, it leads to the loss of life.
The only way to prevent this type of disease is by vaccination with the hepatitis B vaccine.
2. Hepatitis C
This type of disease causes infections and leads to liver inflammation. When a person gets a hepatitis C viral infection, the disease begins to develop within them.
It begins showing symptoms two to six weeks incubation. Researches show that about 80% of all the people infected with this virus do not show any symptoms.
Those who exhibit signs include high fever, low appetite vomiting, and pain in their abdomen. Other sign ranges from nausea, pain in the joints, skin turning yellow, dark urine, among others.
Unlike Hepatitis B, this condition does not have any vaccines to act as a prevention mechanism. Therefore, its prevention is by reducing a person’s chances of infection by avoiding risks that would expose one to the virus.
3. Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HIV is a virus that affects the immune system in the human body. The immune system in our bodies helps us to fight infections.
When this virus is uncontrolled, it kills immune cells, which includes T and CD4 cells. The most affected cells are the CD4 cells. It makes the body to be venerable to many infections.

Hotel bloodborne pathogens could cause HIV/Aids

When this condition advances, it leads to a more serious medical condition known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). When this infection reaches that stage, the body becomes frail and unable to fight infections as well as diseases.

AIDS became more critical that if one went untreated for three years, death was imminent. Medical practitioners advanced their technology and developed ways to deal with this situation through antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs. It prolongs life expectancy after HIV infection.
A person with HIV can last several years without knowing unless they get tested.
Some of the symptoms that appear are called non-specific symptoms. These are symptoms that do not indicate specific conditions.
Such symptoms include fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, skin rashes, pneumonia, recurrent fevers among others
When one gets tested, and the results are positive, treatments should begin immediately. The main form of treatment for this condition is antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs. These are daily medications that help to boost CD4 cells by keeping them immune and empowering them to fight diseases.
It also reduces the chances of HIV infection progressing to AIDS. Furthermore, the treatment can reduce the chances of transmitting infections to others.
Medical researchers are still looking for ways to develop a vaccine that can reduce or stop the transmission of the virus. But individual steps and principles can reduce the rate of infection.
Such principles include that a person can decide to practice safe sex, avoid sharing of sharp objects that can lead to infections.
Training Staff Can Help Control The Spread Of Hotel Bloodborne Pathogens
Training of hotel staff on how to handle potentially hazardous situations is essential. The qualified, skilled staff can handle, disinfect, or professionally dispose of any infected material.
Hotel managers can procure bloodborne pathogens (BPP) courses for their employees so that they can be conversant with handling potentially infectious blood pathogens
Various organizations offer complete coursework on pathogens. These classes train how to handle blood safely and the precautions to reduce exposure. What’s more, you can get a certificate for a small charge upon completing a simple test.
Because everyone is at risk of exposure, these courses are not only for medics and nurses. In a world where accidents are inevitable, anybody can be a first-responder. And that can work better if we have more people training on first aid and bloodborne infections.
Take Advantage of Online Courses
You can also opt for an online course at the American Academy of CPR and First Aid.
American Academy’s bloodborne pathogens training provides knowledge about common Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP), general precautions for handling human blood products, the processes and procedures for dealing with exposure to blood, how to identify hazardous organisms, and how to limit your risk of exposure.
Also included are procedures on how to handle equipment used in drawing and storing blood. Finally, it also contains the basics of what BBPs are, how they affect the body, and the risks they can pose.
Combining first aid training with a bloodborne infections course helps to ensure that your staff can handle any medical emergency that may arise. Learning how to handle blood and dispose of waste can help control infections, especially during outbreaks of highly infectious diseases.
Online training of hotel staff is also a creative way of ensuring your staff undergoes training regardless of their busy schedule. Staff can log in and take classes even if they are in a remote location.
Last Words on Hotel Bloodborne Pathogens
Hotel bloodborne pathogens are a significant worry for any hotel administrator. Bloodborne pathogens can infect the staff as they carry out routine tasks such as cleaning of rooms. The best way of dealing with blood-based infections is by ensuring that your hotel workforce undergoes adequate training on how to handle and dispose of the potentially infectious matter within a hotel.