7 Steps to Prevent Cross Contamination

1.  Don’t Leave the Lab Wearing Your Gloves!  Gloves are used to protect skin from chemicals and infectious materials.  Once used, gloves are considered contaminated.  Gloves must be removed upon exiting the lab to prevent cross contamination of commonly used surfaces.  As a general rule, never touch elevator buttons, door handles, etc. while wearing gloves.

2. Never reuse disposable gloves!  Reusing disposable gloves is an unsafe laboratory practice.  It can increase the likelihood of contamination.  Change them between tasks when the gloves when contaminated

3. Discard disposable gloves into the proper container!  Don’t leave gloves behind.  Once gloves are removed, they must be placed into your lab’s Stericycle box or biological/biohazard waste container.  Gloves should not be placed in regular trash.

4. Always sanitize! – Wash your hands after you remove your gloves and before you exit the lab.

5. Designate “Clean” and “Dirty” areas!   Use biohazard labels to identify computer keyboards or telephones that are typically handled with gloved hands.  Remove equipment such as microscopes and cell counters from “clean” areas to “dirty” areas in the lab.  Post signs to remind lab members of the sinks, bench tops, desk areas, other fixtures in the lab are “dirty”.

6.  Be mindful of others sharing your work space! As researchers, you often share the elevator with office personnel, hospital staff, and patients.  Wearing gloves on the elevator is a concern for others that see you.  They are unsure of whether your gloves are contaminated or fresh out of the box.  For the sake of perception, refrain from wearing gloves or other personal protective equipment outside of research areas.

7. Transport samples safely!  If carrying samples between research locations, remember to use a secondary container with a secure lid to transport your samples.  Place an extra pair of clean gloves in your pocket.  You can use them when you arrive at your destination.

This entry was posted in EHSO and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>