Universal Procedures

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Universal precautions are an internationally agreed set of procedures, which will prevent transmission of all infections present in body fluids.

Universal precautions should be practiced in any environment where workers are exposed to bodily fluids.

They are common sense procedures and should be followed to protect everyone’s health.

ALWAYS! – Whenever you administer first aid to someone, if bleeding or not, wear disposable protective gloves.

This should become a habit. It is impossible to tell if someone has HIV or other blood born viruses just by looking at them, so if you wait until you think you might be at risk to put gloves on then you may be at risk without knowing it.

Gloves also protect the person who is in need of medical attention from potential infections.


Dealing with body fluids that have split on the floor:

  • Put on disposable rubber or latex gloves
  • Clean with strong, commercially available, household bleach – diluted with 10 parts of water
  • Mop up with disposable towels


Vomit should be cleared quickly, using paper towels, and the spillage area then treated as for body fluid spills.

All cuts and grazes should be covered with waterproof dressings until a scab has formed.

All contaminated materials, including paper towels, should be placed in a plastic bag which is then tied securely before being disposed of or, preferably, incinerated.

Used dressings, tampons and sanitary towels should be disposed of in commercially available sani-bins or a separate bin.

Used razors, needles, and syringes should be disposed of in sharps bins.