Course Introduction
LEARNER GUIDE
Session 1 - Demonstrate the Principles of Primary Emergency Care in the Workplace
Session 2 - Sustain a basic level of preparedness for health emergencies in the workplace
Session 3 - Assess and Manage an Emergency Scene in the Workplace
Session 4 - Demonstrate Primary Emergency Life Support for Adults, Children and Infants According to Current International Protocols
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Lesson 2 – Personal protective devices and infectious disease prevention procedures (universal precautions), used during treatment of casualties, are identified and their purpose and application correctly described and demonstrated.

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UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS

Universal precaution is an approach to infection control, to treat all human blood and certain human body fluids as if they were known to be infectious for HIV, HBV and other bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are bacteria or viruses that exist in blood and can cause disease in humans who are exposed to them. These diseases can be transmitted by any blood-to-blood contact, or by exposure to an individual’s eyes, nose, or mouth.  Because of the risk of bloodborne pathogens, individuals engaging in CPR or First Aid activities should follow the guidelines of Universal Precautions:

Below are 5 Steps of Universal Precautions:

1.    Education

  1. The employer must provide training to protect the health and safety of the worker and provide for the safe handling and disposal of biological agents.
  2. Hygiene (washroom) facilities with water, soap and disposable towels or a hot air hand dryer must be provided at all worksites.
  3. Protective surgical gloves (latex or vinyl) must be provided by the employer for workers who may be exposed to biological agents (i.e. body fluids from other people or from animals).

2.    Handwashing

  1. Frequent hand washing is one effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace.
  2. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after contact with any type of body fluid or contaminated surfaces.
  3. Wet, soap and lather hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Wash and scrub under fingernails and cuticles with a small brush.
  5. Rinse hands thoroughly and dry.

3.    Use of protective barriers (PPE)

Always wear a protective barrier (surgical gloves) when in contact with blood, body fluids or faeces (poop).

  • The OHS Act requires the employer to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), to maintain good condition, to implement their use, and to train the worker on their use. [OHS Act S8.2 (b), (d), (f) and General Safety Regulations R3(a), (b)]
  • Protective barriers reduce the risk of exposure to potentially infectious material through contact with broken skin or mucous membranes:

Gloves

  • Surgical quality latex or vinyl gloves must be provided by the employer for all contact with blood, body fluids and faeces.
  • Gloves are also necessary for disinfecting contaminated surfaces and disposing of used materials and biological waste.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after removing gloves.
  • Change gloves after each task or exposure and dispose of as contaminated waste.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Protective eyeglasses and a mask must be provided and used where blood, body fluids or faeces are likely to splash on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Gowns, lab coats or aprons must be provided and worn where clothing is likely to be soiled.

Resuscitation Devices

  • To minimize exposure during emergency mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, mouthpieces or other resuscitation devices must be provided.
  • Resuscitation devices should be a disposable type and available in every first aid kit.

4.    Cleaning of contaminated surfaces

  • Wear gloves and use disposable towels or other means of cleaning that will ensure against direct contact with blood, body fluids or faeces.
  • Decontaminate the area with an approved germicide or 1:100 solution of household bleach.
  • All used equipment must be thoroughly washed and disinfected.

5.    Safe handling/disposal of contaminated material

  • Special precautions must be observed when disposing of biological waste and materials contaminated with biological waste. Training must be provided by the employer. [General Safety Regulations R3.5 and Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations R4, R5.1 (c), (d), (e)]
  • The employer must have a written Disposal of Contaminated Waste Procedure for the safe disposal of contaminated waste.
  • Dispose of biological waste in a puncture-resistant container lined with a leak-proof plastic bag. Post a biological waste symbol on the container.
  • Consider all biological waste as infectious.
  • Wear puncture-resistant gloves and handle all contaminated wastes carefully to prevent body contact.
  • Hold only the outside of the container when emptying it. Never reach into the container.
  • Do not load the container beyond its capacity or compact the contents. Compaction may lead to additional contamination of the work area.
  • Never mix biological waste with regular trash.
  • Any object that could cut or puncture the skin such as needles or broken glass may carry infectious material and should be handled with caution. Dispose of ‘sharps’ in unbreakable, non-pierceable containers that have a lid. Never place ‘sharps’ in the regular trash.