Dealing with Blood and Body Substances

What Is It?

To minimise the risk of the spread of infection, all blood and body substances (e.g., vomit or urine) should be treated as potentially infectious. Spillages of blood and other body fluids may transmit viruses. It is essential to decontaminate spillages immediately using safe methods. Strategies for decontamination will differ based on the setting in which spills occur and the volume.

If anyone has contact with blood or body fluids, the following procedures should be observed

Remove contaminated clothing

If blood or body fluids get on the skin, irrespective of whether there are cuts or abrasions, wash well with soap and water

If the eyes are splashed, rinse the area gently but thoroughly with water while the eyes are open

If blood or body fluid gets in the mouth, spit it out and rinse the mouth with water several times, spitting the water out each time.

Spill Kits

It's important to know where the nearest spill kit is located. Each kit should include the following

A scoop or scraper

Single-use gloves

Protective apron

Surgical mask

Eye protection

Absorbent agent

Clinical waste bags and ties


All parts should be disposable to ensure cross-contamination does not occur.

Spill kits should be scheduled for regular checking of contents, and contents are to be replaced after use and when they exceed the expiry date.

Process For Cleaning

1) Place safety signs, if necessary

2) Assess the risk of exposure and don appropriate PPE (gloves, plastic apron, eye protection)

3) Place paper towelling or absorbent material over blood or body substance spill to confine and contain

4) Wipe/scrape up the bulk of blood or body substance spill with paper towelling or scrapers and dispose into the waste bag

5) Use a neutral detergent and warm water to clean the area thoroughly

6) Ensure the area is completely dry

7) Dispose of contaminated paper towels and all PPE into the waste container

Spills on carpets must be managed as follows

a) Absorb/scrape up as much of the spill as possible using paper towels or scrapers

b) Then clean with a neutral detergent

c) The carpet must be shampooed with an industrial carpet cleaner as soon as possible - contact cleaning services to arrange for this to be carried out

d) Soft furnishings can also be wet vacuumed.  Following the cleaning of soft furnishings, every effort must be made to air the room to allow drying of the furnishing before re-use

If a significant risk has been identified or an occupational exposure has occurred, an incident report must be completed, and occupational exposure management protocols must be followed where required.