The British Institute of Cleaning Science Founded 1961 with over 10,000 members Largest independent body within the cleaning industry

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Protecting the Cleaning Operative From Ebola - Education, Membership and training within the cleaning industry | BICSc

Ebola - BICSc Urges Cleaning Operatives to Follow Best Practice When Cleaning High Risk Areas

“Whilst there is still no cure for Ebola, measures must be taken to protect individuals connected with any part of the nursing process, the during and after care and the full cleaning of the area by the cleaning operatives. The clean up would normally commence when the isolation area is vacated due to the very high risks involved with working within immediate proximity to an infected patient.

Very stringent policies and procedures must be in place and followed by all cleaning operatives to maintain high standards in all surrounding areas outside of the isolation area. This will minimise the risk of contamination or further spreading of any fluids inadvertently taken from the isolation area.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

Although Ebola is spread by direct contact with the patient’s bodily fluids through broken skin, mucous membranes or an object such as a needle (which may be contaminated), cleaning operatives still need to use the most appropriate and effective PPE  to carry out their role. 

One of the most important considerations when the cleaning of the isolation room commences is the risk of the cleaning operative damaging their protective clothing or the clothing becoming infected during the cleaning process. 

Risk assessments and systems of work will inform the cleaning operatives what the required PPE would be.

As a minimum all staff entering the room would require the following recommended PPE.
  • - Gloves
  • - Gown (fluid resistant or impermeable)
  • - Eye protection (goggles or face shield)
  • - Facemask

In areas were copious amounts of bodily fluids are present then the additional PPE would also be required: 
  • - Full disposable suits (fluid resistant or impermeable)
  • - Disposable shoe covers
  • - Leg covers (if gowns are worn)
  • - Double gloving
The Necessary Steps to Cleaning High-Risk Areas

Prior to entry cleaning operatives should ensure there are no cuts or abrasions particularly on hands and cover any that are present with a waterproof dressing.

The cleaning operatives must put on all recommended PPE prior to entry and then be checked to ensure there are no rips or damage to the PPE including any seams.

There may be disinfectant trays that operatives will have to pass through on entry.

During the cleaning process the operative must remain vigilant for any damage that may occur or suspected splashes onto their PPE and have this exchanged / disinfected immediately. 

On completion all PPE and cleaning materials used should be disposed of following local policy incineration being best practice. Shower facilities should also be available on completion."

Written by Maureen Kelso - Head of Education and Standards



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