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Biological hazards overview
 

Biological hazards overview

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    Biological hazards overview Biological hazards overview Document Transcript

    • Table of Contents1. IntroductionPage 12. Types of Biological Hazards Page 2-3 A. Bacteria B. Viruses C. Fungi3. How Biological Hazards Enter the Body Page 4-6 A. Inhalation B. Absorption C. Ingestion D. Injection4. How Biological Hazards are Spread Page 75. Levels of Biological Hazards Page 8 A. Level 1 B. Level 2 C. Level 3 D. Level 46. Controlling Exposure to Biological Hazards Page 9-10 A. Engineering Controls B. Administrative Controls C. PPE D. Standard Precautions E. WHMIS7. Pandemics Page 11 A. Seasonal Influenza B. Arian Influenza C. Pandemic Influenza8. What Should Employees DoPage 139. Role of the Health and Safety Representative Page 1410.ConclusionPage 15 1
    • IntroductionBiological Hazard when we hear that word we think disease as humans some of use getscared.What are Biological Hazards? Biological Hazards are organisms or products of organismsthat present a health hazard to humans. These hazards can be encountered anywhere inthe environment, including home, school or work. Exposure to biological hazards in theworkplace results in a significant amount if occupationally associated disease, althoughthe biological hazards are not always recognized in the work setting.Types of Biological HazardsBiological hazards can be put into different categories.The most common biological hazards include:Bacteria- microscopic organisms that live in soil, water, organic matter or the bodies ofplants and animals and are characterized by lack of distinct nucleus and the inability tophotosynthesize. Examples are E Coli, TB, and TetanusViruses- are a group of pathogens that consist mostly of nucleic acids and that lackcellular structure. Viruses are totally dependent on their hosts for replication. Examplesare common cold, influenza, measles, SARS, Hantavirus, and rabiesFungi- any major group of lower plants that lack chlorophyll and live on dead or otherliving organisms. Examples are athlete’s foot, mould, rust, mildew, smut, yeast, andmushrooms 2
    • Workers should be able to identify occupations where people can potentially be exposedto infectious diseases. Workers could suggest the occupations, source or potentialdisease, as shown:Occupation Contact Source DiseaseDentist, nurses, volunteers Patient’s blood, Hepatitis, cold, fluIn hospital or health care Body fluidsChild care worker, Children’s body fluids, Colds, flu, eye infections,Babysitter such as runny nose, Head lice, meningitis dirty diapers, cutsFood service industry Undercooked food Salmonella, e coliCaretaking/cleaning/ Used needles, broken glass Hepatitis B,C, HIVWaste disposal personnel 3
    • How Do Biological Hazards Enter the Body?Factors that can determine if a person will contract a disease and how bad it will beinclude the dose, the virulence of the organism and the resistance of the individual. Someorganisms can live outside the host for hours or even days, while others require a host tosurvive. Some organisms are very small and lightweight. Others are quickly settle outonto surfaces, and are a contact concern. All of these issues affect potential exposure.Biological hazards can enter the body in many ways. When determining appropriateprotective measures, measures are clear understanding of how it can enter the body.Routes of EntryBiological Hazards enter the body through:-Inhalation through breathing-Absorption direct contact through breaks in the skin, even chapped skin, or throughmucous membranes/contact with eyes, nose, mouth-Ingestion through swallowing-Injection through a punctureThe most common routes of entry for biological hazards are inhalation and absorptionfrom direct contact.InhalationInhalation is a common was for biohazards to get into the body. The effect on the bodydepends on the biohazard and the amount that is breathed in.Unlike chemical inhalation, we often don’t know we have inhaled a bacteria, virus ormould because there is no smell or taste there are no irritating effects. It is only when weget symptoms of the infection that we realize we were exposed. 4
    • Points to remember about inhalationMore Hazardous agents get into your body by inhalation than by any other route of entry.Although your body filters many of the normal pollutants from the air you breathe, itcannot eliminate every type of contaminant.Small particles are difficult to eliminate and can get deep into the lungs where they cancause respiratory problems.It is important to notice warning signs, such as smelling chemicals odours. It is alsoimportant to notice if you stop smelling a chemical odour that you used to smell-you maybe “accustomed” or used to the smell and not know that you are being exposed to thechemical.AbsorptionA biohazard can enter the bloodstream through broken skin, such as a cut, chapped skin,hangnail or any other break in the skin. Cover broken skin with a bandage or gloves toseal the wound and wear the correct PPE to keep the wound area safe from bio hazardouspenetration. Splashes of blood or body fluids to the eyes are ways that biohazards can beabsorbed.Points to remember about absorptionYour skin is a major route of entry for hazardous substance in the workplace.Chemicals can be absorbed through healthy skin into the bloodstream and transported totarget organs when they can have damaging results.Exposure to chemicals, biological hazards in the workplace can result in occupationaldiseases and allergic reactions. 5
    • IngestionSwallowing biohazards can sometimes occur without us knowing it, often simply fromnot washing our hands. Poor hand washing is one of the most common way thatbiological hazards can be transmitted. Workers should always wash their hands beforeeating so that any hazardous material on the hands is not ingested.Points to remember about ingestionHazardous agents can enter the body by being ingested (swallowed)Some ingested hazardous agents are neutralized in the stomach, while others areabsorbed into the bloodstream and transported to target organs.Eliminating these hazardous is the best method of preventing their ingestion. Otherimportant methods of prevention are personal hygiene and ensuring workers have accessto washing facilities, food storage and eating areas that are away from their work areas.Vomiting and diarrhoea are ways the body tries to remove certain toxic substance for thedigestive system.InjectionWhen something sharp punctures the skin, a biohazard can enter the body through theskin. At home, if you drop a glass on the floor, what do you do? Sweep up the pieces witha broom? Pick them up with your bare hands? In a lab if that glass contained a biohazard,picking the pieces up with your bare hands could enable the biological agent to enter thebody through the cut or puncture 6
    • How Biological Hazards Are SpreadBiohazard Disease Spread Precaution/ControlBacteria Pink eye Human to Do not share eye (conjunctivitis human contact makeup; wash handsVirus Hepatitis A Human to Do not ingest human contact contaminated water or food; avoid direct contact with infected personVirus Hepatitis B Human to Immunization; avoid human contact contact with infected people; avoid tattooing and body piercing dispose of sharps in disposal container.Virus Hepatitis C Human to Avoid direct contact human contact with infected person; avoid tattooing and body piercing; follow standard precautionsVirus Measles Human to human Immunization; avoid contact spread by direct contact with cough and nasal infected people droplets 7
    • Levels of Biological HazardsBiological hazards are organisms or are part that comes from organisms that are harmfulto health of people. There are four different levels of biological hazards. The reaction thebody has to each level is different and range from stomach aches to death and everythingin between.Level One of biological hazards is usually bacteria of other types of microorganisms thatare relatively harmless to a human. The best way to protect you from this level of hazardsis to wear PPE. The best way to dispose of them is in a normal trash reciprocal. You canhelp prevent the spread of these germs by washing your hands frequently during the day.The most common level one biological hazardis hepatitis, chicken pox and e coli.Level Two biological hazards are usually bacteria or viruses that cause mild symptoms inmost people that become infected. A little more care is put into making sure you do notbecome infected with one of these viruses. Frequent hand washing is suggested alongwith the proper PPE. Level two biological hazards are well known and include salmonella,measles, Lyme disease, influenza (common cold) and HIV.Level Three biological hazards can have severe or even fatal symptoms in humans butcan usually treat by vaccines or other treatments that know exist. The precaution that istaken to avoid contracting this level is much more serious than the precautions used inthe first two. There is usually special equipment and protective gear that is used toprevent the spread of any hazards germs. Level three hazards are anthrax, malaria,tuberculosis, and typhus. If they are not contained properly an outbreak could occur andpotentially harm thousands of people before they can be vaccinated against the virus.Level Four is by far the worst types of biological hazards. They can cause severe illness ordeath in humans and have no known vacations or treatments. Most of the time peopleworking around these types of viruses are required to wear full hazardous material bodysuits to protect them from the virus they are trying to fight. It is also necessary to wearoxygen mask to avoid breathing in the harmful hazards. The most deadly of thesebiological hazards are Ebola, bird flu, Bolivian, and Dengue fever. 8
    • Controlling Exposure to Biological HazardsThere are three approaches to control hazards. The first consideration for controllingbiological hazards, as with all other types of hazards, is to look at engineering controls. Ifa hazard cannot be eliminated or physically controlled through engineering methods asecond approach to controlling hazards is administrative. Then, if exposure to a hazardcannot be prevented with either engineering or administrative controls then PPE isnecessary.Engineering ControlsThese controls are the first line of defense and include built in protection in building,work areas, equipment or supplies. Hazard protection is built in and, therefore, control isat the design stage. Examples of controlling biological hazards, using engineering controlsin a building are:-Ventilation systems and construction seals to create negative pressure rooms- Bio-safety hoods, with specific ventilation systemsAdministrative ControlsThese controls are steps in work procedures or work processes that minimize the risk ofexposure to a hazard. This type if control does not eliminate a hazard but cansignificantly reduces the risk of injury. Administrative controls are set up by managementand workers are used if a hazard cannot be eliminated or reduced through engineeringcontrols. Some examples are:- Worker training- Rules that require regular hand washing- A rule of no eating in work areas- No sharing of personal items- Procedures such as disinfection- Wet mopping for hazards, such as Hantavirus clean-up- Specific work schedules to rotate duties so that exposure times are limited 9
    • Personal Protective EquipmentWhen a hazard poses a threat, even after engineering and administrative controls havebeen implemented, then PPE is necessary. The most common types of PPE that protectyou from biological hazards include:-latex gloves-a proper mask for biohazards-eye protectionIf there is a chance that body fluids can enter through either direct contact or by beingsplashed, then a face shield or safety goggles are necessary. Working in environmentssuch as hospital, labs, veterinary clinics or meat packing facilities, may require specialsafety clothing or full body protection against biological hazards. Depending on the work,workers may also be exposed to chemical hazards and therefor, the PPE would need toprotect against both types of hazards.For PPE to be effective it must be worn correctly and must be comfortable and fitted foreach person. Workers must be trained properly so that it is worn when needed.Standard PrecautionsStandard precautions are a type of administrative control that is well known inworkplaces or occupations where biological hazards are common. Standard precautionsare based on the premise that all body are considered infectious and are treated as such.WHMISSuppliers of products that are biological hazards must have a WHMIS label to educateworkers of the hazard. For the purpose of WHMIS, only those suppliers who supplyorganisms because they are biological hazard are required to label their organisms with aWHMIS supplier label and provide a MSDS. Typically this would be research facilitiesassociated with medicine or agriculture; example a university other work places must takeall reasonable precautions to protect workers but WHMIS and MSDS will not likely beavailable. 10
    • PandemicsAn influenza pandemic is a widespread outbreak of disease that occurs when a newinfluenza virus appears that people have not been exposed to before. Pandemics aredifferent from seasonal outbreaks of influenza. Seasonal influenza outbreaks are causedby viruses that people have been exposed to; flu shots are available to prevent widespreadillness and impacts on society are less severe. This can cause serious illness becausepeople don’t have immunity impacts on society would be significant.Seasonal InfluenzaIs an illness, caused by influenza virus that affects many Canadians each year? It is passedfrom person to person.Avian InfluenzaIs a group of influenza viruses that cause sickness and death in birds. Sometimes, thesebird viruses infect other species, such as pigs and humans. At the present time, this virusdoes not spread easily from person to person but this influenza virus can change to thepoint that a completely new strain could evolve.Pandemic InfluenzaThis would be this new strain that people would have no protection against. The diseasewould spread easily from person to person and an effective vaccine would not beimmediately available. 11
    • Seasonal Influenza(flu) Pandemic InfluenzaOccurrences Occurs every year, during Occurs 3 to 4 times a the winter months. century; can take place in any seasonInfection Rate Affects 10-25% of the Experts predict an infection Canadian population rate of 25-35% of the population.Recovery Most people recover within Usually associated with a a week or two higher severity of illness and higher risk of death.Group at Risk Some people at risk for All age groups may be at serious complications of risk for infection. For influenza include: example, adults betweenthe -the very young ages of 20-40 were -those with certain health disproportionately affected conditions during the 1918 pandemic -people over 65Prevention Annual influenza A vaccine against pandemic immunization is effective influenza will not be because the strain in available at the start of a circulation each winter can pandemic; new strains of be fairly reliably predicted. viruses must be accurately identified. Producing an effective vaccine could take four to six months.Treatment Anti-viral drugs are Anti-viral drugs may be in available for those most at limited supply and their risk of becoming seriously effectiveness will only be ill. known definitely once the pandemic is under way. 12
    • Just imagine that up to one third of the workforce cannot work because workers are sickor caring for an ill family member. Workers could be unavailable to work for amount oftime. Imagine the material suppliers are facing the same absentee rates and the goods andservices from other countries are not available.What Should Employers Do-Plan for impact of a pandemic on your business. In particular, check to see that the corebusiness activities can be sustained over several weeks.-Identify other critical inputs services, products and logistics required to maintain abusiness operation by location.-Determine which outside activities are critical to maintaining operations and developalternatives in case they cannot function normally.-Plan for possible short interruptions of essential services like sanitation, water, powerand disruptions to the food supply.-Identify your company`s essential functions and the individuals who perform them.-Maintain a healthy work environment by encouraging healthy behaviours at all timesand posting tips on how to stop the spread of germs at work.-Communicate with and educate your workers. Tell the workforce about the threat andthe steps the company is taking to prepare for it.-Update sick leave as well as family and medical leave policies and communicate theimportance of staying away from the workplace if workers become ill. Concern about lostwages is the largest deterrent to not coming to work when ill. 13
    • Role of the Health and Safety RepresentativeYour role is to work proactively (this means taking action before there is a problem) toeliminate biological hazards from the workplace as much as possible, to make sureworkers are protected, and to educate workers about occupational hazards.Eliminating hazards from the work environment is always first choice for preventingdisease.When hazards cannot be eliminated, they should be controlled. Workers should pressmanagement to introduce effective controls in the workplace such as engineeringcontrols, administrative controlsPay attention to new workers and visitors. They are “newly exposed” to a workplace andcan tell you if they have health problems only when they come into the workplace. 14
    • ConclusionBiological hazards are organisms or groups of organisms that may cause health issues tohumans. These hazards are very dangerous and have to be taken seriously by employeesand employers. There are three types of biological hazards including bacteria, viruses andfungi. All three types can cause illnesses such as hepatitis (virus), tuberculosis (bacteria)and athletes foot (fungi). Inhalation, absorption, ingestion, and injection are ways thesetypes of hazards can enter the body. There are many ways we can reduce our risk to thesecontaminants. Engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protectiveequipment, workplace hazardous materials information system and standard precautionsare all ways to avoid risk to all levels of bio hazardous materials. It is the employeesresponsibility to follow rules and regulations, as well as be aware of potential hazards.Employers also have to plan and prepare for potential risk by maintaining a healthy workenvironment and educating employees on how to avoid biological hazards. Withcooperation from both employers and employees, there should be minimal risk of beingexposed by biological hazards. 15