Cleaning Blood and/or Other Body Fluid Spills


  • To provide a safe and consistent approach to be followed by appropriately trained staff and offenders when cleaning surfaces and objects contaminated with biological fluids (i.e. blood and/or other body fluids)


Applies to all trained staff, as applicable


  1. The Institutional Head is responsible for:
    1. determining who will be involved in the cleaning up of blood and/or other body fluids:
      1. specifically trained staff
      2. specifically trained inmates (they must be under the supervision of specifically trained staff), and/or
      3. outside contractors
    2. maintaining a list of specifically trained staff and inmates
    3. providing the required training
    4. maintaining a supply of personal protective equipment and appropriate cleaning products.

Cleaning Blood and/or Other Body Fluid Spills

  1. Security staff will protect the scene prior to cleaning, thus clearing the affected area in order to preserve evidence. The affected area may need to be cordoned off to ensure no one is able to walk through.
  2. Appropriate personal protective equipment must be worn for cleaning up blood and/or other body fluid spills. This equipment should be changed if torn or soiled, followed by hand washing.
  3. Single-use impermeable gloves will be worn during the cleaning and disinfection procedures. If the possibility of splashing exists, the specifically trained staff or trained inmates or outside contractors will wear a face shield or goggles and a gown.
  4. The following clothing and material must be fluid resistant and readily available in identified locations:
    1. face shields
    2. masks
    3. non-latex gloves (e.g. nitrile or other barrier material)
    4. disposable gowns or waterproof aprons
    5. protective footwear
    6. eye protection (i.e. includes safety glasses, goggles or full-face shields)
    7. spill clean-up kit – commercial or one that contains gloves, pick-up scoop with scraper, intermediate level disinfectant, paper towels and garbage bags.
  5. The blood and/or other body fluid spill area will be cleaned of organic matter for the disinfection to be effective. Blood or other body fluids on surfaces (walls, floor, counter tops, inanimate objects, etc.) need to be wiped up using disposable towels or other absorbent material. Disposable towels used for wiping up blood or other body fluids need to be discarded in a plastic bag and can be placed with the regular garbage. Only items that are blood soaked (if squeezed they would drip blood) need to be discarded in a PLASTIC BIOHAZARD BAG.
  6. Surfaces contaminated with blood and/or other body fluids, and immediately adjacent to contaminated areas, will be disinfected with an intermediate level disinfectant (e.g., Accel TB), ensuring sufficient contact time.
  7. Surfaces that have not been directly contaminated with blood or other body fluids, and/or that are in close proximity to contaminated areas may be cleaned with detergents.
  8. Clothing contaminated with blood and/or other body fluids can be cleaned through regular laundering. Once removed, clothes will be placed in a plastic bag and care will be taken when placing these items in the washing machine not to cross-contaminate or handle without gloves. Place the plastic bag with the regular garbage.
  9. Once removed, single-use personal protective equipment will be placed in a plastic garbage bag stored with the regular garbage. Hands will be washed following glove removal. Care will be taken not to contaminate the outside of the garbage bag. Double bag if contamination is suspected.
  10. Once removed, non-disposable personal protective equipment will be disinfected with an intermediate level disinfectant, ensuring sufficient contact time.

Handling Security Equipment That Has Been in Contact With Biological Fluids

  1. The following procedures will be followed when handling security equipment that has been in contact with biological fluids:
    1. Place the equipment in transparent non-permeable (no holes) plastic bag of the appropriate size
    2. Handle the bag from the outside as the inside is considered to be contaminated
    3. Place a yellow or red biohazard label on the bag to indicate that it contains equipment contaminated with biological fluids
    4. Send the bag to the Security Maintenance Officer for decontamination of the equipment. For those institutions that do not have a Security Maintenance Officer, send the bag to the designated person
    5. When handling this equipment prior to decontamination, wear gloves and be careful not to cross-contaminate.

Proper Techniques

Hand Washing

  1. The purpose of hand washing is to remove soil, organic material and transient micro-organisms from the skin. A good hand washing technique reduces contamination by contact and helps to eliminate the transmission of pathogens to non-contaminated areas. Hand washing is considered one of the most important single interventions for preventing infections.
  2. To wash hands well:
    1. Remove all jewellery before hand washing (contaminated jewellery to be treated the same as hands)
    2. Rinse hands under warm running water to allow for suspension and washing away of the loosened micro-organisms
    3. Lather with soap and, using friction, cover all surfaces of the hands and fingers (the minimum duration of this step is 10 seconds, but more time may be required if hands are visibly soiled)
    4. Carefully clean frequently missed areas such as thumbs, under nails, backs of fingers and hands
    5. Rinse hands from fingertips to wrist under warm running water to wash off micro- organisms and residual hand washing agent
    6. Dry hands thoroughly with single-use towel or forced air dryer (reusable towels are avoided because of the potential for microbial contamination)
    7. Turn off faucet using a paper towel to prevent recontamination of hands.
  3. Faucet taps need to be decontaminated.
  4. The efficacy of hand washing depends on the time taken and the technique.
  5. To avoid potential cross-contamination, it is important not to splash clothing, other skin surfaces or inanimate items during hand washing.


  1. Gloves will be worn at any time contact with blood, body fluids, mucous membranes or non intact skin can be reasonably anticipated. Note that gloves are not sterile.
  2. To put on the gloves:
    1. Remove gloves from the box by grasping them near the wrist and pull glove over the hand
    2. Change and discard gloves at the first sign of cracking, peeling and if torn or punctured.
  3. To take off the gloves:
    1. Pinch first glove below the wrist
    2. Pull the glove so that it turns inside-out as you remove it
    3. Slide an ungloved fingertip inside the cuff of the remaining glove
    4. Pull downward toward the fingertips off of the hand and over top of the first glove
    5. Drop the gloves into the garbage without touching the soiled outer surface of the used gloves with your bare hands
    6. Wash hands.


  4. Long sleeved garments are preferred to minimize contamination of skin or clothes.
  5. To put on the gown:
    1. Unfold the gown and hold the gown so that the opening faces you
    2. One arm at a time, put on the gown
    3. Pull the gown over the shoulders
    4. Tie strings in the back so that the gown overlaps.
  6. To take off the gown:
    1. Untie the strings in the back of the gown
    2. Grasp the gown at the back of the shoulders and remove the gown pulling it forward down the arms and rolling it inside out into a bundle
    3. Place the gown in the garbage
    4. Wash hands.


  7. To put on the mask:
    1. Position the mask over the nose and mouth
    2. Bend the nose bar if applicable, over the bridge of the nose
    3. Depending on the type of mask, either fasten the ties or place the elastic bands over the back of the head and behind the neck.
  8. To take off the mask:
    1. Untie the bottom and then the top mask strings or release the elastic bands
    2. Remove the mask from face without touching the outside surface with bare hands
    3. Drop the mask into the garbage
    4. Wash hands.


  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters

Assistant Commissioner,
Health Services

Original Signed by:
Michele Brenning

Assistant Commissioner,
Human Resource Management

Original Signed by:
Elizabeth Van Allen




GL 254-1 – Occupational Safety and Health Program
CD 568-4 – Preservation of Crime Scenes and Evidence
CD 800 – Health Services
GL 800-6 – Bleach Distribution
GL 800-8 – Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Protocol for Managing Significant Exposure to Blood and/or Other Body Fluids

Cleaning Best Practices for Health Centres and Regional Hospitals
Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines


Blood-borne pathogens : viruses found in blood such as hepatitis B and C virus, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which produce infection.

Contamination : a disinfected or sterile item or surface that becomes soiled with micro-organisms.

Cross-contamination : the transfer of an infectious agent from a contaminated source to a non-contaminated source.

Disinfection : a process that kills or destroys most disease producing micro-organisms.

Personal protective equipment : equipment designed to provide a barrier between a person and a known or potential hazardous material in order to minimize, reduce, or eliminate the risk of exposure to the hazardous material.

Single-use : devices that are designed to be used once and discarded as these items cannot be adequately cleaned and disinfected or sterilized.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.