Blood / Human Body Fluids Cleanup / Spills / Prevention & Precautions

Based on Information provided by:

  • RHA / URIS / Public Health Nurse
  • Manitoba Health Communicable Disease Control


The following procedures/precautions should be routinely used throughout Hanover School Division to minimize the risks of transmission of communicable diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

These guidelines provide simple and effective precautions for all persons potentially exposed to the body fluids of others.

Definition – Body Fluids:  Body fluids apply to blood, drainage from scrapes and cuts, feces, urine, vomit, saliva and drainage from any orifice (i.e. nose, ears).

Standard Procedures for Handling Body Fluids in Hanover School Division

Principle 1: Direct skin contact with body fluids of others should be avoided when possible.


  1. Proper hand-washing requires the use of soap and water and vigorous washing under a stream of running water for approximately 10 seconds.  Thorough drying of hands and washing is necessary.
  2. Gloves should routinely be worn when direct contact with body fluids is anticipated; treating bloody noses, handling soiled clothes (e.g. by vomit), cleaning small spills by hand, etc.
  3. Gloves and other materials used for this purpose should be put in a plastic bag or lined trash can.  Plastic bags should be changed daily and disposed of routinely.  Double bagging can be used when grossly soiled or contaminated.
  4. Gloves should be kept in all areas of high risk, e.g. health room, maintenance areas, main office, any classroom where risk of spills is particularly high.
  5. Students should be taught to handle their own “body fluids” as appropriate (for age, state of health, etc.).  When feasible, students should dispose of their own Kleenex or paper towels that were used after they have blown their nose, controlled bleeding of their nose, or cleaned up a cut or scrape.
  6. Students should be taught good hand-washing techniques and encouraged to use them routinely – before eating, after toileting, after vomiting, etc.

Principle 2:  When direct skin contact or contamination of materials occur from unanticipated skin contact with body fluids (helping a child in the bathroom, applying pressure to a bloody nose, unexpected vomiting, etc.) proper cleaning techniques should be followed.


  1. Hands and other affected skin areas of exposed persons should routinely be washed with soap and water after contact.
  2. Clothing items that are soaked through to the skin should be removed, placed in a plastic bag and sent home for laundering.  Items laundered for school use, or in school, should be washed in a hot water cycle (71 C / 160 F) before reuse.  One cup (minimum) household bleach added to the wash is recommended if the material is colorfast; if material is not color fast, add ½ cup non-Chlorox bleach (e.g. Borateem) to the wash cycle.
  3. Contaminated disposable items (tissues, paper towels, diapers) should be handled with disposable gloves.

Principle 3:  Spilled body fluids should be removed from the environment by proper cleaning technique.


  1. Grossly contaminated environmental surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with a freshly prepared solution containing a one to ten mixture of household bleach to water.  A germicide (e.g. Lysol) can be substituted if a bleach solution is unavailable.  Disposable gloves should be worn.  Note: Cleaning solutions may damage metal surfaces.  Therefore, all surfaces should be wiped dry after cleaning.
  2. Wastes and disposable cleaning equipment should be placed in a toilet or plastic bag appropriately.
  3. Non-disposable cleaning equipment (mop/buckets) should be thoroughly rinsed in bleach solution (as above).  The bleach solution should be disposed of promptly down drainpipe.
  4. Maintenance responsibilities should include daily cleaning with bleach/germicide as in above – all areas of high risk for contact with body fluids such as the health room, health room toilet(s), sink(s), student and staff lavatories, etc.  Plastic bags should also be changed daily and disposed of routinely; disposable gloves should be worn.
  5. Spilled body fluids on carpets should be disposed of by routine use of a moisture absorbent which is then swept/vacuumed; followed by a washing with a carpet cleaner.


An immediate level disinfectant should be used to clean surface contaminated with body fluids.  Such disinfectants will kill vegetative bacteria, fungi, tubercle bacillus and viruses.  The disinfectant should be registered for use in medical facilities and hospitals.

Various classes of disinfectants are listed below:

  1. Hypochlorite Solution (bleach): preferred for objects that may be put in the mouth.
  2. Phenolic Germicidal – detergent in a 1 percent aqueous solution e.g. Lysol
  3. Sodium hypochlorite with at least 100 PPM available chlorine (half cup household bleach in one gallon water, needing to be freshly prepared each time it is used).

Disinfection of Hard Surfaces and Care of Equipment

  1. After removing the soil, a disinfectant is applied.  Mops should be soaked in the disinfectant after use and rinsed thoroughly or washed in a hot water cycle before rinse.
  2. Disposable cleaning equipment and water should be placed in a toilet or plastic bag as appropriate.  Non-disposable cleaning equipment (dust pans, buckets) should be thoroughly rinsed in the disinfectant.  The disinfectant solution should be promptly disposed of down a drainpipe.  Remove and discard in appropriate receptacles.

Disinfection of Rugs

  1. Apply sanitary absorbent agent, let dry and vacuum.  If necessary, mechanically remove with dustpan and broom, then apply rug shampoo (a germicidal detergent) with a brush and re-vacuum.
  2. Rinse dustpan and broom in disinfectant.  If necessary, wash brush with soap and water.
  3.  Dispose of disposable cleaning equipment as noted above.
  4. Maintenance responsibilities should include daily cleaning with bleach/disinfectant of all areas of high risk for contact with body fluids such as the health room, health room toilets(s), drinking fountains, student and staff lavatories, etc.
  5. Plastic bags in wastebasket should also be changed daily and disposed of routinely.
  6.  Disposable gloves should be worn.


Principle 4:  The clothing of persons at high risk for frequently contact with body fluids should be protected.


  1. Clothing, if contaminated, should be laundered as previously described.