1996-02-01

Bloodborne Pathogen Hazards in Accident Investigation Practice 960898

This paper addresses key safety aspects of which the professional accident investigator should be aware while conducting an examination of a motor vehicle that has been potentially contaminated with bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens hazards are defined and identified, and the typical mechanisms of exposure, pathogen longevity (specific to the crashed vehicle environment), and the consequences of exposure are addressed. As advice on exposure avoidance, “universal precautions” are reviewed, which includes proper attire, appropriate safety equipment and basic safety procedures and technique. This paper concludes with a review of decontamination procedures, an employer's responsibility, and shipping of contaminated and decontaminated materials.

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