Biohazard Safety

Biohazards are materials or human waste that cause infections or disease.

As in the healthcare industry, construction workers should assume that all surfaces are contaminated with potentially infectious materials and use precautions when working in wastewater areas or on live sewer lines.

EXAMPLES OF BIOHAZARD WASTEBiohazard

  • Human blood and blood products. This includes items that have been contaminated with blood and other body fluids or tissues that contain visible blood.
  • Animal waste.
  • Human body fluids
  • Microbiological wastes.
  • Pathological waste.
  • Sharp Waste.

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 the 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?
  • 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.

Protect Yourself...

When handling, transporting and disposing of Biohazard Red Bag or Sharps Containers Waste:

  • Keep bags AWAY from your body when carrying.
  • Wear latex, vinyl or rubber gloves UNDER heavy duty reuseable work gloves.
  • Practice good hand hygiene: Wash with soap and water and/or use Alcare regularly and before break, eating, smoking, drinking, going home.
  • Wear a face shield or googles when tossing bags into biohazard bin and outdoor dumpster.
  • Cover bin in transit.
  • Wear a disposable apron if chance of contamination of clothing.
  • Report any "stick" or splash to Employee Health Nurse ASAP.
  • Ask about getting a Hepatitis B Vaccine.

Remember this:

  • Avoid direct contact with sewage or any other biohazard present.
  • 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.