5 Places You Might be Exposed to Biohazardous Infectious Material

Employees in any workplace face hazards on the job. Medical facilities and laboratories, however, present workers with the unique danger of becoming infected by an organism that can make them seriously ill. These biohazardous infectious materials must be identifiable with biohazard safety labels. Where can you expect to be exposed?

1.Medical Waste Containers 

No one likes taking out the garbage, but it’s not usually a dangerous job. It is dangerous, however, when the garbage consists of hazardous medical waste. Medical waste is material that comes from practices involved in diagnosing, treating, and researching human beings and animals. Some of this waste has the potential to cause harm to humans and should be disposed of in suitable containers and labeled appropriately with biohazard labels.

Some examples of biohazardous wastes:
Human or animal organs
Sharp or breakable objects that have been in contact with blood or other bodily fluids 
Biological tissues or cell cultures
Live vaccines

2. Contaminated Laundry

Bag or containers that are used to store soiled uniforms, bed sheets, or towels should possess biohazard labels. The items within them may hold samples of blood, urine, or other bodily fluids that could be passed on to those who handle the laundry. 

3. Coolers that Store Infectious Material

When specimens, samples, and vaccines have to be preserved, they are stored in refrigerators or freezers. Clinics, hospitals, and laboratories must be sure that the coolers that store infectious specimens meet certain requirements regarding temperature, security, and safety. 

Warning labels should be clearly visible on the outside of the cooler. The labels should feature the recognized biohazard symbol and instructions about not storing food inside. You wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally store your lunch next to a salmonella sample.

4. Medical Transport Containers

Blood samples and specimens sometimes have to be carted to another lab for testing or storage. In transport, they can pose a risk to those handling the transport container, so safe packaging and clear labeling are key to controlling the accidental spread of infection. The transport container must be constructed so that it is protective and leakproof. Additionally, biohazard labels should be prominently displayed on the container so that anyone who interacts with it is fully aware of the danger. 

5. Contaminated Equipment 

Most medical equipment is designed in such a way that it can be effectively sanitized and decontaminated after it comes into contact with infectious material. However, if the equipment malfunctions, sterilization may not be possible. For these instances, personal protection equipment should be used when handling it. In order to make sure that all workers remain safe, contaminated equipment should be fitted with biohazard labels that indicate the risk of infection.