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Policy 11.2 – Dealing with Body Fluids





POLICY NUMBER:                        11.2




Volunteers will not be expected to deal with any body fluids unless;

a)      they feel comfortable doing so

b)      if it is done utilising standard approved universal precautions

c)      if the amount of body fluids are minimal (eg spots of blood as opposed to a pool of blood)


At the Lyell McEwin site, body fluid spills that are in such a quantity that they could be ‘soaked up’ shall not be cleaned by volunteer staff. At other sites, universal precautions must be followed.


This policy statement is made in accordance with guidelines set out in the Work, Health and Safety Act (1986), Volunteer Association Policy # 11.1 & relevant policies of NALHN



  • That the risk of exposure to infection will be minimised
  • That volunteers and paid staff will clearly understand the limits of what is expected of them in their role
  • · That volunteer staff will be clear about where to go for further advice regarding matters pertaining to body fluids


PROCEDURES (To implement Policy)

1. Body fluids can be any fluid which has been ‘spilled’ from the body. Body fluids include blood,vomit, faeces, urine, semen and pus.


2. When a volunteer experiences any spills of body fluids, they are in no way obliged to clean / clear the body fluids unless they feel comfortable doing so.


3. In cases where a volunteer chooses not to clean a body spill, the volunteer has a responsibility to ensure that to the best of their ability the area containing the body fluids is isolated and that the risk of others coming into contact with the body fluid is minimised. The volunteer should then contact local nursing or ISS staff to clean the spill (this will be dependant on the area in which the body fluid is located). In situations where a volunteer was working in a persons home or other remote situation (eg in a vehicle), the volunteer shall take all reasonable measures to isolate the body spill and then make contact with the most appropriate person to assist with the  clean up. This may include case managers, care workers or family members of the client.


4. In cases where a volunteer chooses to clean the body fluid, disposable rubber gloves must be worn, and the area cleaned down with an appropriate disinfectant following the removal of the body fluids.


5. Volunteers should not attempt to clean spills in cases where the quantity of the spill is such that it

would be absorbed easily if a towel was placed on it.


6. Volunteers and paid staff who require additional information about Infection Control, infectious diseases and their spread through body fluids should contact the Infection Control Coordinator  located in the Risk Management Department.


7. Infection control and body fluid management shall be a regular feature of the monthly training provided for all new volunteers

8. The Association shall have a responsibility to ensure that all of its areas has an adequate supply of goods and resources for dealing with body fluids (eg gloves, disinfectant etc)


Exposure to Body Fluids

  1. If volunteers/staff are exposed to body fluids ensure the appropriate first aid treatment is followed:
  • Encourage bleeding of any wound then wash thoroughly with soap and water or antiseptic
  • Spit the body fluid out of the mouth and rinse with water until thoroughly clean
  • Rinse the eye with saline or water


A ‘volunteer incident’ report form should be immediately completed and the EO/Area manager should be notified. The EO will report the incident to the Risk Management Unit. The exposed volunteer / staff member may attend the Emergency Dept or their own doctor for medical counselling and relevant follow up (eg blood tests)



Approved:   24th January 2001


Last Updated: July 2014