February 4, 2020

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PPE and Personal Decontamination

Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip applies to everyone in public safety. Today I am talking about communicable disease prevention and personal decontamination.

Do your part to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your family from communicable diseases.  

Everyone in public safety faces some risk of exposure. And planning ahead is an important way to protect yourself. Put on your P-PEPersonal Protective Equipment, before you enter situations where exposure is likely. Situations could include collisions, fights, and crime scene investigations. Remember that your PPE might be as simple as a pair of latex gloves.  

Follow your department’s protocols for removing and disposing of used PPE. Carefully removing PPE prevents undesired and careless splatter. Properly removing PPE can be just as important as putting it on in the first place. 

After removing your PPE, remember to use soap and water to wash up. Use an approved cleaner or sanitizer for your hands, arms, and face. Washing correctly and frequently will reduce your risk of contracting a disease.  

Have you considered not taking your uniforms home? Especially if there’s a possibility that they’ve been contaminated. Washing clothing stained with blood or other fluids at home in your personal laundry risks exposing your family members. What about your shoes or boots? I know a lot of public safety folks who never wear their duty footwear into their homes. That’s not a bad idea. 

Think about what you touched. Things like the door handle of your vehicle, the steering wheel, the gear selector, and the seat belt. Any of these could be contaminated and may require cleaning. And when you do clean these areas, make sure to use an effective anti-bacterial solution.  

Do your part to protect yourselfyour coworkers, and your family from communicable diseases 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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